Not many of my childhood toys survived the sands of time. I consider myself somewhat of a pack rat but now and then I try to downsize my collection of memories. My childhood toys are down to three main memories, probably because they were my favorite. I have my 2nd Cabbage Patch baby doll, Mr. Bear, and my Popple. Remind me one day to tell you about the heart breaking story of how I lost my first Cabbage Patch Baby doll it was an innocent mistake but I can’t help but thinking she ended up at Sunnyside Day Care.
Like any other child I had no concept of value. To be honest I have very few memories of playing with my Popple. It has obvious signs of wear and tear. Perhaps I got her before Mr. Bear and that’s why I have such few memories. I often wonder how she survived the cut with such few memories of her. It must be because I valued her individuality. She wasn’t like any other toy I owned.
When deciding how to make the cut I compare items to how many of the same or like items I have and pick my favorite of the group to keep. Since I had nothing else to compare my Popple to I imagine that’s why she’s still here today. Now she is one of my most prized possessions.
I’m not entirely certain what contributed to the demise of Popples but it was probably the very thing I enjoyed most about them, their uniqueness. They are obviously a niche and perhaps many kids preferred something more universal. Or maybe it was the parents who resisted their colorful charm. Whatever it was they are gone now.
Recently Miablo has decided to transition out of her love for toys. She’s trying to enter the preteen stage a few years early. She’s decided to get rid of all of her childhood favorites. I’ve managed to rescue a few of them from the Sunnyside Day Care box in hopes that she will one day be glad that I retained them for her. I like to think one day she will look back and wish she had Wolfie. It’s on that day I can open an old box and hand her the beloved toy she so easily threw in with the waste.
I’m trying to teach Miablo the value of items without turning her in to a hoarder. I don’t want her to get rid of her most prized possessions just because they aren’t cool at this moment. If she likes most people I know she will one day wish she had her Wolfie. And if she doesn’t then well I guess it will get put in to the box of toys to send to Sunnyside Day Care.
One thing we do when we decide to get rid of toys is to donate them to a local charity. We try not throw out anything that is in good condition so that we aren’t completely wasteful. Who knows if anyone else actually wants or old stuff but we sure hope that they do. We make sure to pick a charity that not only maintains a thrift store but that uses its profits to feed, house, and rehabilitate the homeless.
In this sense our old toys ensure that not only does another child get to enjoy the toy we once loved enough to beg for it, but their purchase of our old toy feeds the hungry. It truly is a beautiful cycle that allows the innocence of childhood and materialism to transition into a greater purpose. I highly recommend locating a charity in your local community so that you too can create meaning out of your materialism.