It seems when my children leave home for any extended length of time I take the liberty to rummage through their rooms (with permission, of course) change things around, clean things up and get things in order before their return. So, with my daughter on another continent, I chose to rummage through her closet (once belonging to her brother) in search of buried treasure! Through yards of glittered tulle, piles of discarded shoes, pocket books, bunny bedding, childhood games and such, I found it. There it was...a green and white deep, plastic rectangle with a royal blue cover! I'm sure if you bore children in the '80's you'd recognize it in a second! Yup! The "Little Tike's" toy box...buried in the same corner of the closet that it had been sitting in for the last 22 years.
Rearranging the pile o' stuff on the closet floor and struggling just a bit I managed to pull it out and expose its content. I chuckled as I reached in for the yellow drum filled with a host of MacDonald's Happy Meal toys. Oh! I couldn't even get rid of those at a tag sale years ago! Here they were again! Now I couldn't bring myself to throw them away for every toy meant a special memory or celebration with my kids. Next a set of musty, cloth baby blocks hand-made by Grandma. They once were proudly displayed alongside a vase of blue and white carnations on the altar table at church to celebrate my son's first birthday. She always made simple things so special. There was a wooden train trestle and train station stashed in their worn cardboard boxes. Oh how he loved to play with that train set for hours figuring out how to make different traffic patterns with the track pieces. Finally I found his Match Box cars neatly snuggled in their designated parking spots inside two "Hot Wheels" carrying cases.
With my heart full of motherhood reminiscing I emptied that plastic treasure chest and transported each toy carefully to the toys-in-waiting box up in the attic. (That's the box filled with my children's toys I could never part with that I have saved for my grandchildren and great nieces and nephews when they come to visit). Some have made their way back down from the attic in recent years what with all the new babies in the family. Hence, the reason for my treasure hunt to the back of my son's closet. The toys have begun to pile up in the living room, again...so much so that they need to be contained inside a toy box.
This past Sunday we celebrated my granddaughter's first birthday in our back yard. She's my son's first born. When once as his mother I couldn't wait to put toys inside that box at the end of a long day of play I now ache to take them out again. I sit for hours without tiring (well, maybe I tire a little) and watch his daughter play. Now, I leave the dirty dishes in the sink, ignore the buzzing of the dryer, put off folding of the clothes to drink up all the time making new toy box memories with her. Everything and everybody else can wait!