Example 1: I was at an afternoon tea party with some young women one of which had a baby daughter. The subject got around to children’s toys and one of the young women was somewhat befuddled as to what had happened to her childhood collection of Strawberry Shortcake toys. “I wonder what happened to them, I suppose my mother got rid of them, I really don’t remember, I wish I still had them!”.
Example 2: On a separate occasion there was some mention of the that a relative in my family never saved her daughters toys to give to her children. I am not sure how this subject came up or where it went but it was lost on me.
Example 3: While talking to a friend of mine and her grown daughter the subject came up about Lego. I told them that my son had sold his Lego to a family friend because he no longer wanted it but needed the money to save for a trip to America. These women were horrified that I would allow him to part with these toys because ~ “When he has children of his own the sets that he had will no longer be available!” And to be honest, among the Lego he sold were two sets that were his fathers, given to him by his grandmother who had saved them.
The question is, am I the strange one or do many people fill their attics, basements, closets and garages with boxes of old toys of their own or their children in the hope that they can share the experience with their children/grandchildren some day. Where does one draw the line when it comes to these toys. I must confess even as I write this I remember that there is a box of Star Wars action toys and a box of Thomas the Tank Engine toys in the top of my son’s cupboard and I have saved a couple of my daughter’s old teddy bears but I do periodically give them the choice to keep them or pass them on. Of course these are the toys that were the most special to them or in my son’s case are not only toys but collectors items.
I remember the toys of my childhood that were, for many years, the focus of our vacation entertainment. Aside from some board games there was an old construction set, my brothers Meccano Set, our electric train set, the dolls my sister and I had, some cubby house items and my brothers old adjustable rollerskates. Aside from that we made up own fun. These items, like I said, were around for almost all of our childhood years but I never once thought to berate my mother for disposing of them when we had all grew up. I didn’t ever think, why didn’t she save them for our children.
Is it just a case for some people of, I don’t have it any more therefore I want it. Which sounds an awful lot like the same motivation for shopping constantly for things people don’t need. If in fact a person does have children of their own (and that is not guaranteed) the children aren’t likely to feel like they are missing out on the experience their parents had unless it is instilled in them that they should be. I say “There is no use crying over spilled milk if the toys are gone they are gone.”. And also be selective about what you save if you must insist on doing so. Only keep the very special items and when the time come to share them with your child or grandchildren don’t be disappointed if they are unimpressed.
I remember when I was a young teenager in my first job at a book store. During break times I would sit at the desk in the back room reading whatever was on hand while I ate my snack. One day there was a kiddies book called Monty Mouse which I found most entertaining due to the fact that instead of drawn illustrations the book had photos of a taxidermic mouse posed in many different scenes of adventure. By sheer chance many years later when my children were young I happened upon a copy of this very book at a second hand stall at a railway station. I was so excited to buy it to share with my children. I have to say they were a lot less impressed than I was and it never did become one of their favourite books like I expected it would.
I have always given my children the choice of what to do with their toys. I think it is good to include them in the decision making process so they don’t think they have been deprived of anything. I have never forced them to part with them but they usually decide to donate them or sell them in order to make way for the next best thing that is suitable for their new age group. I suppose that because they have been raised with me decluttering things it is a natural progress for them to do the same when they outgrow their stuff. I suppose it is therefore true that for children who have been raised with the idea that things possess unfathomable sentimental value they will likely forever have a problem with parting with things.
Today’s Declutter Item
The item today is an example of my children making their own choices when it comes to their toys. These plates were a part of my son’s Snoopy collection that started when he was about three years old. It has grown and followed us around for 17 years but he decided some time back that he had outgrown it and was happy to pass it on. I have been trying to sell parts of it for him in the hope of earning him a little cash. These plates sold on eBay last weekend for $25.oo. Mission accomplished. Some of it has also been Freecycled and the rest I think will be donated.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I had a very successful eBay weekend and you will soon be able to see photos of the items that were sold in the Item Of The Day section over the next week or so. I netted about $370 and sold some items I have been wanted to part with for some time. As us Aussies say, I am a happy little Vegemite and so is my son and my daughter will be when she finds out I sold her keyboard for $80.