Friday, March 14, 2014

Moving On

Yesterday was kind of a sad day.  Nothing serious or earth shattering....just that quiet kind of sad that moms experience sometimes.

My son, who is 13, has been asking me to take his toys out of his closet as he was wanting his room to take on more of a teenager feel.  We'd been keeping the Hot Wheels, Star Wars figures, Tinker Toys, Bionicles, and such in his closet to aid in entertaining his little cousins when they'd come to visit, but, yesterday, we put a few of them under his bed for that purpose (out of sight of visiting friends) and packed up the rest of his old favorites for his children one day.

I kind of have a Toy Story view about toys.  I was always very sentimental about mine and didn't want my mother to throw away any of them!  I still have my Baby Beans doll (she was my absolute favorite doll), my Tender Love doll, my Merlin, and my Raggedy Ann AM radio, just to name a few!   Who didn't like to go outside and get down with their Raggedy Ann AM radio with its convenient, vinyl, carrying strap?

Since we were in the closet cleaning mode yesterday and since I so enjoyed remembering toys of our day with you, I decided to get my old playthings down and snap a few pictures.  When I opened that box, I could still smell the scents of my childhood in the aged plastic and faded fabrics and the comfort of seeing the old familiar friends was unexplainably warm.     

I lovingly drew a Band-Aid on the leg of my Tender Love doll and, as you'll notice below, it's still there covering whatever injury she suffered back in 1972.  Tender Love has one of those dangerous strings on the back of her head and when you pull it, she has a repertoire of phrases that she recites.  Yesterday, I pulled her string and the first thing she said to me was, "Mommy so pretty". Awww, isn't she the sweetest?   There's nothing like your 45 year old looks being validated by your vinyl childhood friend.  It was a touching moment.
Coincidentally, I found my pick up sticks!  Would you look at the ends on those things?  I've seen duller ice picks. 
 
Among other treasures I found were my Sony Walkman, old diary, and Mattel Electronic Football game.  That Walkman has played many a Kool & The Gang and REO Speedwagon masterpiece in its day.  That diary contains the juiciest secrets that Christian school 5th grade had to offer.  If I ever decide to run for president, it will have to be destroyed.  I played that football game for hours!  Back in the day, it was the very latest in electronic gaming with its bright dots indicating your team and the more faint dots being the opposition.  It was so realistic...just like being there, playing in the actual Super Bowl.  I need to pop a 9 volt battery in it and listen to that six note tune it played when you scored a touchdown! 
My very favorite toy of all time was my Little People Village!  I can't tell you how many years I played with this thing!  As some of you pointed out, the Little People figures were much smaller then than the fist sized ones of today.  They can hardly be called "Little" People anymore.  Even though some of their faces are faded and scratched off in places, they're familiar faces and still smiling back at me.

One day, when my kids have a mortgage, deadlines, and children to raise, I want them to also be able to open a box or two of their old toys and feel the warm memories of a simpler time.  Blair's favorite tea set, dolls, stuffed animals, Sweet Streets, and Barbies are all safely stored away and yesterday, Carson's Legos, super heroes, Star Wars ships, Nerf guns, and Pokémon cards joined them in their retirement.   

I'd adjusted to Blair being all grown up, because I still had Carson to fill the little kid shoes around here.  It's kind of a sad realization when it hits you that you no longer have anyone in your house who is little and plays with toys.  Carson's closet is now stocked with more mature contents like baseball bats, caps, a guitar, boots, and tackle boxes. 

Sometime, when we didn't even know it, we made our last trip to Toys R Us, so he could just look around and dream of what he wanted for his next birthday.  One day, somewhere along the way, I waited patiently, while he looked intently over every single Beyblade in the store and as I waited, I had no idea he'd never care about looking at them again.  One day that I can't even recall, he asked me to get his pirate set down from the top of his closet, and I didn't realize, at the time, that it would be the last time he'd ask. 

Somehow, sometime, while I was cooking supper, running carpool, folding clothes, and going to PTA meetings, they grew up on me.  Time marches on....   

     





      

24 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, you have just done me a huge favor! I have been trying to remember the name of my baby doll for YEARS and couldn't come up with it. BABY TENDER LOVE!!! I still have mine, too, and it still talks if I pull the string on the back. I loved that baby doll. You have no idea how glad I am to have the name. Thanks!!!

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    1. And my younger sister and I also had the Fisher Price "Little People." Loved them!

      I have experienced this bittersweet stage with my own two boys -- the oldest is 19 and the youngest is 16. I am thrilled that they are progressing through the normal stages of life, but oh, how I long to have them be small again for just a little while; to go back to the time where I was the center of their universe. Oh, my heart.

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    2. Oh Jammie, I know! We want them to grow and become independent, but it sure is hard on a Mama's heart sometimes! I can't believe you still have your Tender Love too! Mine's voice is a little garbled and her hair has some permanent cowlicks, but I love her all the same! :)

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  2. I found your blog through BooMama and this post brought me to tears! I have a almost 4 year old and one on the way. A lot of times when we go to Toys R Us, I try to keep moving my son along so we won't spend hours in there. Your sentence about being the last trip to Toys R Us and not knowing it pretty much did me in. I'll have to remember next time I'm in there that these days are all too short and I need to just enjoy them rather than think of how much time we're wasting in there. I love your blog and I'm so glad I found it!

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    1. Thank you so much, Bethany! Bless your heart....if you're like I was when I was pregnant, I doesn't take much to "do you in"! Haha! You're in a fun stage though. If I could go back and freeze time at any point, it would be when my kids were 7 and 1! It was my very favorite time :) Hope your pregnancy is going smoothly!

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    2. and I'm so glad Boomama sent you! Thanks for stopping by, Bethany!

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  3. Oh my goodness this made me sad to think of my boys' last shopping trip of wanting to look at toys! Time please slow down!! I too have a soft spot for toys!

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    1. Oh, if there were a way to freeze it, Amber, I'd be all over it! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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  4. I loved this post! Toys bring back the strongest memories, I think! Thanks for sharing...

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    1. They really do, Becky....Thank you!

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  5. joni, YES.mine just turned 23 & every stage is so fun but every now & then i have a dream where he's little again & i can smell that sweaty little boy smell on his forehead. there were several years when i would have him clean out things for a yard sale & i would always end up with a little bag of his toys that i would reclaim. loved this post. :)

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    1. Tracey, that little boy smell stays with you, doesn't it? It's a sweet smell....in its own way. :)

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  6. Joni, my girls are 35 and 38 and have children of their own now but the toys of their childhood are still a part of our lives! One of my favorite photos of our granddaughter Annalee shows her sound asleep snuggled up with her Mama's vintage orange Beanie Baby! And all four grandchildren continue to play with the Little People barn and western village and house, all saved from their mother's childhood. They treasure these special toys as much as I treasure the moments watching them play with them! Those "last" moments with your son and daughter may have slipped away, but you have much to look forward to someday! Thanks for this post!

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    1. Oh, I love that, Jee Jee! Thanks for giving me a different angle to look forward to!

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  7. Wow, TEARS!! The line where you said, one day we made our very last trip to the toy store.... Ya, I felt that. My son will be 16 in 3 weeks. And I'm SO happy to see someone say that they want to keep their kids toys. Everyone I know sells everything the second their kids get a little older. I'm so sentimental and want to save all the things. Glad to see I'm not the only one :)

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    1. Oh, I'm with you, Midwest Mom! I could never sell them either! You and I may be too sentimental for our own good! Thanks for reading :)

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  8. Okay - now I have tears after reading the line about the last trip to Toys R Us. I'd just found an old box of Nerf guns while clearing out some stuff. There is just going to have to be room with the Thomas the Train toys and Star Wars swords because I do believe I'm keeping them.....

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    1. Oh, Karen......we have an arsenal of Nerf guns too and those little orange bullets can still be found under sofas and in chair cushions! And I didn't realize, until I was culling the toys, just how many little, tiny guns, knives, swords, and light sabers must come with each action figure! They're the boy equivalent to Barbie shoes, I suppose. :)

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  9. Sophie sent me, and I have really enjoyed reading.

    We had the little people village, too, and now our kids play with it. Yours is in great shape...our traffic light broke ages ago and no longer holds the two pieces together.

    If possible, store those beloved toys in a guest room closet. Not all of our treasures survived the heat of the attic

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Clairebear. Isn't Sophie wonderful? :) One side of my traffic light is coming loose too! I do try to store as much as possible inside, because that heat is indeed destructive! I hope you'll come back to see me.

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  10. Just came over from Sophie's blog and so glad I did. The reference to the last trip to Toys R Us just melted my heart. Bless your sweet family.

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  11. I had that same exact diary! And I loved me some Fisher Price Little People!! This post took me way back to great memories!

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    1. Oh wow! I think I got that diary for my birthday one year! Thanks, Mandy :)

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