Sometimes Clutter Isn’t Clutter

I’m a little late on spring cleaning (and by a little I mean 5 years).                                     Now that my shoeyoungest is almost 9 and the oldest is almost an adult (gasp) there are many bins from “toddlerhood” that were outgrown years ago, cluttering up the joint.

We have so many neglected toys in our storage room, I sometimes wonder if we have an ongoing Toy Story 4 movie in there.  Heck, we even have a Buzz and Woody.  I could easily sneak the bins out of the house without anyone noticing.  But I am the one having issues letting go.

Out of all the bins and boxes, the hardest thing for me to think about parting with is the books.  You know the favorite baby books that you read over and over (and over) at bedtime.  The ones that would elicit a hopeful “again?” before you could even say “The End.”  The ones you knew so well you could mumble the words while you fell asleep.  The ones with wrinkled, torn pages from so much use.  The ones you can still recite years later just by looking at the cover.

Seeing one of those books brings me right back to the moments of sitting in the rocking chair with one of them on my lap.   The moments that seem like yesterday but were years ago.  The moments I didn’t always enjoy at the time but cherish now.

Photo: efsavage.com
Photo: efsavage.com

Those books hold more than pages with words.  They hold memories.

Aaaaah. 

Sorry, I got lost in the Hallmark moment there.

The toys bring back many memories also.

I look at the “Rescue Heroes” and remember Jimmy’s obsession with them.  He had big plans to be a Firefighter, Policeman, Paramedic, Astronaut AND Lumber Jack when he “growed up.”  I look at those toys and realize that as Jimmy begins the college application process, he IS almost grown up and figuring out what his profession will actually be.

The Thomas the Tank Engine track and trains remind me of when Jake was a toddler.  Those trains saved my sanity.  The ONLY time he would sit still was when he was playing with them.  Well, the only time he would HAPPILY sit still.  Even when he slept, he was tossing and turning, turning and tossing, tossing and turning all night (You’re welcome for the song that is now stuck in your head.).

Little Pet Shop was Eric’s favorite and he loved those cute little animals – even though the tiny accessories drove me nuts.  But stepping on a miniature dog bowl barefoot beat stepping on a Lego any day.  (I think the Lego nubs actually DO turn into daggers in the dark.) Eric still has that love of animals (just real ones now) and I just KNOW one day when he’s a veterinarian, he will want those toys to decorate his office.

Greg loved the Fisher Price Little People toys.  He’s my littlest, so it was appropriate.  That was one of the few toys that had stood the test of time since I was a kid, although the ones I played with probably had lead paint.  That would explain a lot.

So the books and toys will stay.  One day I can read the yellowed pages to my Grandkids while reminiscing.  “When your Dad was your age…”  They will just LOVE that, right??

And by the way, Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  I have never seen a blue horse OR a purple cat.  Have you heard of the color grey??

5 thoughts on “Sometimes Clutter Isn’t Clutter”

  1. I have a hard time separating with my kids’ favorite toys, too. My mom kept a lot of mine and now my kids play with them at her house. Of course, they are probably made of lethal plastic and lead paint, but you know. It’s cute. 🙂

  2. My son just turned 13 and we were going through his books to clean out the “little kid books.” Both of us had a hard time parting with some of them. Out of 55 books, we ended up keeping 30 of them. Now I just need to get them out of the office and into storage before they end up back on his bookshelf!

  3. We are living parallel lives! We just re-did my 9 yo’s room and had to go through all the baby/picture books that were cluttering up her book shelves so we would have room for the things she actually reads now. After reading them to her (and they had been passed down from her 13 yo brother, too) I just couldn’t part with so many of them. I spent HOURS doing the voices for those books. THE MEMORIES!! I’m not even sentimental about stuff like that and it had me all misty eyed. We took boxes of them up to the attic because I couldn’t bear to get rid of them!! –Lisa

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