From the Archives: June 2010
This is from a series of blog posts I asked my wise and wonderful cousins to do years ago. Enjoy!
So Much Stuff
Lots of stuff seems to come with having a family. With six children in ours, we have plenty of it! Some of it seems to multiply on its own. I could swear our stuffed animals have their own breeding program.
A Buy Back Program
One day I decided I’d had enough of errant Legos, mismatched toy dishes from multiple sets, dolls with messy hair and little plastic cowboys and Indians. I announced to my children that I would buy their toys. I would give a dime for each toy that would be discarded or donated. My children reacted in varying ways. Clarissa and Deseret didn’t really have toys anymore and complained that I should have done that when they were younger. The others participated in varying degrees.
Morgan was the most excited. He brought matchbox cars with missing wheels and action figures with missing limbs. I didn’t care, I paid him dimes. I was happy to get rid of anything! He paid his tithing and then wanted to go to the store, all that money burning a hole in his pocket. At the first opportunity, he quickly spent his wad on those little toys that are absolute junk that come from a little vending machine in individual plastic bubbles. As he proudly showed me his new treasures, I wasn’t sure my plan was such a great success!
My Four-Year-Old Hoarder
Carolina is my baby. She is four. She has never met a McDonald’s toy or a stained and holey pair of pants she didn’t like. Her bedroom is continually overflowing with treasures such as the picture she drew at preschool four weeks ago, and the picture she drew at preschool three weeks ago, and two weeks ago, and last week, and yesterday. None of them can be parted with. She doesn’t want to part with board books that she loved when she was two or Little People animals that she never plays with anymore. The thought of passing on her too-small clothes to her cousin (whom she loves) brings her to tears.
I have learned how to handle Carolina. I have had a lot of experience with four-year-olds who cling to their possessions. The secret is to perform periodic cleansing when the four-year-old is playing at her cousin’s house. When the four-year-old comes home, she is thrilled that, for the day, she doesn’t need to clean her room. Her mom did it for her! What a happy surprise. She doesn’t even miss those beloved possessions.
The Tables Have Turned
Carolina’s older sisters are 14, 12, and 9. This afternoon we were cleaning out their bedrooms – going through drawers, closets, and bookshelves. Suddenly and unexpectedly, I found myself acting like a four-year-old.
“Are you sure you want to get rid of your fashion design kit? You had so much fun designing ball gowns.”
“Grandma made that doll blanket for your fifth birthday. You want to store it in a bin in the garage?”
“But that was the first chapter book you ever read!” “Are you sure that doesn’t fit you anymore? It was the first skirt you ever sewed yourself.”
I realized that I was the only one feeling nostalgic. They are excited about the future and I’m the only one looking back. Clarissa will start high school in the fall. Deseret will go to Young Women’s Girls’ Camp for the first time. Liberty is enjoying her first year in 4-H. They are giving up doll blankets and I’m not sure I’m ready for that.
I think I’ll visit Carolina’s room and suggest a stuffed animal tea party. She and I will hold on for a little longer.
Marianne’s AMAZING family (I wish you could all sit down with them and experience what a joy it is to be surrounded by their goodness). Thanks for the perspective Marianne!
What a great post – your cousins family look gorgeous. I only have four children, but they ramge from nearly 13 down to 2, I know how she feels – so true that the only way to get a four year old to part with their treausres is secretly LOL we often have “Daddy put my car (old cardboard box, falling to bits from being hordered for weeks!) in the bin” tears from our Mr 4!
Thanks for that bit of advice. I feel myself looking back often too. It’s hard to give up some of those things, I know. I loved that family before and now I love them more! Thanks!
So true! My oldest is only 9, but I still see him discarding things from younger days and it makes me so sad. My 6 year old is a keeper and a trick that i have found works with her is to get her an art portfolio to manage her papers from school. As long as they fit in the folder she can keep them. If I find them on the ground or her dresser that means she didn’t want them! ;D
What a beautiful photo of a lovely family! I am being buried alive by a lifetime of collecting beautiful treasures that are mementos of my travels and adventures, not to mention the THOUSANDS of photos on camera cards that will doubtless be tossed in the garbage when I die! I’ve always wanted to print them into books by years, but now at my advanced age I’m just too tired. Generations from now would love to see my photos and read about my adventures but sadly, they will be lost to history just as so many before us have been forgotten. I wish you all the best in your choices and solutions! Just a suggestion: on any photos you have, write the FULL name of the person, the date, and their relationship to you… that is invaluable information to the dedicated descendant that will compile your geneology! Mary Scott, Delray Beach, FL