Back in Time

Daily Post: Hand-Me-Downs:  Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.

Let me start by saying that my parents have kept all of my childhood stuff. Their basement is full of old toys, books, photo albums, school mementos, etc. We’re talking stuff from the 1970’s and 1980’s mostly, some 1990’s.  Yes, I was an only child. Needless to say, my kids think my parents’ basement is a treasure trove.

Side note: my parents also have a huge vinyl collection and a cabinet full of 8-track tapes along with a stereo that plays both. I think my daughter is the only 6 year-old on the planet that knows what an 8-track is and how to play it. But I digress.

So a trip through my kids’ playroom is a little like wonky time travel.  There is a complete set of pristinely-preserved Dr. Seuss books from the late 1970’s (well, mostly pristine. Some may or may not have scribbled drawings on their inside covers. I fancied myself an artist back then) on the bookshelf right along with new favorites. There are also Cabbage Patch dolls circa 1984 hobnobbing with American Girl dolls circa 2013.  Barbies from the 1980’s with chopped hair live in the Dream House with modern Barbies with chopped hair (because let’s face it, all little girls like to cut Barbie hair).  And my old Fisher Price record player circa 1980 stands out like a relic next to the more technologically-advanced toys.

Its pretty cool actually.  Since my parents took such good care of everything, these toys are getting another generation of love.

One day my kids were particularly excited about a box that my dad hauled upstairs from the basement.  They were bouncing off the walls.  It was a box of knick knacks from my childhood room.  It was like my own personal time capsule, watching these items see the light of day after being packed away for twenty years.  Some of the things I remembered and others I did not.  The girls held up each item and asked me about its significance, treating everything with great reverence.  Then they sat in the floor with all of the items between them. Taking turns, they picked and divided until everything had a new owner.  Those items are now proudly displayed in their own rooms.  It makes me smile inside when I tuck my daughter in every night and see the same cross hanging above her bed that I had over my childhood bed for eighteen years.

And I hope that in twenty or so years some of those items will be handed down again to the next generation.


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