Monday, August 1, 2016

Toys from your Childhood

In cleaning out the junk in my house, I’ve been thinking about all the stuff that did manage to escape my clutches. Growing up, my siblings and I had so many playthings, more than we knew what to do with. We were very lucky in that sense. I spent most of my time playing pretend with upcycled junk or building tiny dollhouses out of toothpicks (for my teeny Poly Pocket doll), but we were also blessed with loads of toys that were all stuffed into a closet that needed to be opened carefully to avoid an avalanche of plastic.

When we moved from our first apartment to our next one, for some reason my parents felt the need to purge big time…and most of our toys never made it to our new home. I didn’t understand why we had to leave our books and dolls behind when we had so much more space in the new house. I’d go rummaging through our things only to realize that this thing or that thing I once treasured so much was now gone forever. I especially longed for a particular journal, one that was special because it was a gift from my favorite elementary school teacher, with a Renoir painting on the cover.

Eventually, I stopped missing some of those things so much, probably because they were later replaced by others I learned to love just as much, but every once in a while I’ll remember a beloved childhood toy or book and wish I’d held onto it just so that I’d have something to pass on to my own children or nieces and nephews. But knowing how kids roll, I could throw them a paper towel tube covered in aluminum foil, tell them it’s an ancient sword from the 1980s, and they’ll have a field day with it.

By the way, that’s Alex’s childhood bear in the photo. His name is Fred :)

Do you still have any of your childhood toys? Tell me about them. The best story gets Fred in the mail! (Kidding, kidding…)


  1. I've still got a doll I've had since I was a little over a year old. I had him for my 2nd Christmas. His name is Josepi, officially, but I always just called him "Jo-Jo" (unless I was scolding him for some imagined wrong he'd done). He spent some time in my parents attic from when I was in my mid teens until a few years ago, but now I have him with me again. Even brought him a new outfit to celebrate his release from the darkness of the box in the attic. I did a blog post about him when I got him back, actually...

  2. I have my teddy bear, who (not which. Antonio is his own persona) I got when I was around 10 years old. This very special teddy bear, Antonio, inspired my kid's book Antonio the Bear. I named Antonio after my grandfather who was a US Naval soldier and died in WWII. Everyone has a special toy/ doll/ teddy bear. (side notes: I wonder if my son's will be Blue Monkey. Currently, it's his favorite toy ever. I think that Alex's bear has a lot of character and charisma.) My bear Antonio has a sailor outfit, which has been destroyed with age and the many tears cried, elements of adolescence, adulthood, etc. His outfit is so worn and tethered that I took it to a professional dry cleaner in 2009, in an attempt to have them repair his one of a kind outfit. When they stopped laughing, they agreed to help repair his outfit. I don't think they understood the sentimental gravity of the situation. Either way, Antonio is very well traveled, in addition to being very well-loved. He is now grey where the fur used to be white and fluffy. But OH, the memories and the comfort this bear has awarded me with. He is actually on my list of things to grab in the event of an emergency.


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