Tonight we collected my old toy box from my parents. It's a big wooden chest/seat that my dad built for me when I was a toddler. It's plain, nothing special to look at. But it's big and strong and it's part of my story. For years it held all my toys (and my sister's and brother's toys). We stored our dress up clothes in there alongside our lazer tag guns and our bats and balls. We used it to set our dolls up to teach them in our make believe school. And it was home base in more than one game of freeze tag played in our basement.
My mother tells the story of the day that she walked past my sister sitting on top of the toy box and said, "Hi Rebecca, whatcha doin?"
My sister replied with an innocent smile, "Nothing," when a tiny voice from inside the box cried out, "Let me out of here!"
My mother asked, "Rebecca, is your brother in the toy box?"
With another innocent smile, Rebecca replied simply, "He wanted to get inside."
[mom usually laughs heartily at this point...remembering]
So tonight Steve, Sam and I tackled Sam's toy mountain...which had experienced a few landslides over the past few weeks and months...and put as much as we could fit, into the toy box.
During the process, we sorted out the junk toys...mainly those silly little toys you get in the McDonalds Happy Meals. I now have made a New Years Resolution that we will not eat there so much anymore. He was such a big boy, helping me sort out the toys he doesn't play with so we could, "send them to someone who will play with them." His heart is so big...he is so kind...I hope the world never takes advantage of that and hurts him.
We also sorted out and put away all the "baby toys." The Tupperware shape sorter I searched and searched for because it was like the one I had as a child (the old kind that didn't take batteries...can you imagine a shape sorter that needs batteries? I was horrified at the thought). The donut stacker octopus I got from one of my secret pal exchanges on my mommy message board...one of first toys Sam could work successfully with his pudgy little hands. The wooden blocks on the little cart with a pull string...missing a few blocks that I suspect became dog chew toys. All in bags and in the basement now...definitely not where I imagined they would be at this time of this year...
It's so strange to see my son's memories going into the same place mine were stored for so long. It's so bittersweet to see him already outgrowing some memories. It's so sad to see the memories he won't share with Alex.
We started in a laundry basket. We graduated up to a rubbermaid tub with a lid...then without the lid. Now we have the toy box.
Thanks for keeping it mom...and passing it on. It means a lot to me...to all of us.