As you may remember from New Beginnings, I have been ridding our home of stuff. It has been so rewarding to see all that clutter go. To feel our house exhale with relief!
Were my daughters as excited as I had been? Hmmm, not so much!
I mentioned in passing ‘The Day’ that was looming – The Day when we would go into the attic (a playrooms of sorts) & sort through their toys. I explained that we would need to get rid of some of their toys.There were tears, genuine big salty teardrops that quivered on their eyelashes before spilling down onto flushed cheeks. “Think of other children who do not have as many lovely toys as you have.” There were more tears..
The Day arrived and we all trooped up to the attic; a lovely sunny room overshadowed by pilled high boxes & over spilling bags. We sat down & I explained how they could each have five soft toys, including dolls. More tears flowed. This was harder than I had expected, but I was firm in my resolve. Five toys each, why, that is ten in all! That is a lot of snuggly toys!
As the girls began to sort through their toys with heavy hearts, they uncovered my own teddy bear. He is 39 & 1/4 years old (He was a present for my first birthday.) “Look how ragged he is Mama.” Rose observed. I had to look at him very carefully to see what she could be talking about; all I could see was him sitting on the corner of my bed each night waiting for me, always there. As a tiny toddler, my first day of school, when I had been naughty & sent to bed early. He was there, all through my child hood. As a young woman he came with me when I thought I was ever so grown up with a company car & my own flat. Gosh, he came with me when I got married. Though not on the corner of my bed, I hasten to add.
“Do you see the difference between my bear & your toys?” I asked my goggle-eyed children. “He is worn out. He has bald patches were I have cuddled him over & over. Stuffing spills out of one of his joints. He has been loved. Your toys are not loved. There are too many of them. They sit up here waiting to be played with.”
This really struck a chord with my girls. Particularly with Elianna. She held ‘Horsey’ really close & kissed him…Horsey who came all the way from New York with daddy on an aeroplane . Horsey who was a little bald, as Rose had trimmed his mane and tale when she was a toddler. Horsey, whom you could see had been loved.
Sorting through them became much easier after that. It was really a breeze. Each girl chose her five toys. Elianna wanted even less. She said she wanted ‘loved toys.’ I told her to keep hold of all five as she was agonising over which to send away & which would be special. Keep hold of them for a month. Then you will know. They will tell you themselves! Which ones are special to you and need to stay, and which ones need to find a new home where they can be special too.
I gave my own bear a little hug; grateful that, even now, after all these years, he was still there. Waiting patiently for me. As all loved toys do.