Monday, November 02, 2015

Clutter

A scene from one of my
daughter's favorite books,
as envisioned in LEGOs.
When I was a kid, I could probably fit all my most-loved things into one funky, flowered canvas suitcase (with the exception of people and my banana seated Schwinn). I had some Barbies and stuffed toys. I had a radio and a stack of cassettes. Books, crayons. A bin of knockoff LEGO bricks.

It was the 70s. We had a lot of kids in our family and not every kid had all the things back then. It was more of an "it takes a village" thing, and if you wanted to play with something you didn't have, you went over to your friends' house. I had a few friends whose toy rooms were flush, and they were the favorite place for kids to congregate.


My own kids, I realize while trying to help them pack their rooms, could probably fit all their most-loved things into one small U-Haul. Each.

Because of our coming move, my daughter's room is in a bit of disarray, all her clothes stacked up in her closet, lots of things already packed away. While searching for a long-sleeved shirt which she claimed not to have, I came across the jeans she swore she didn't have, a pile of socks of undetermined cleanliness—and this little doll. I have no idea how long she's been hiding in the closet but I understand based on my daughter's surprise at seeing her, that it's likely been a while.

So, I helped to find a better organizational system to get my daughter through the move, and in turn my daughter has spent the last two days planning outfits around the clothes we uncovered and running around the house with her new best friend. This might be partially because she lost her privilege to play with electronics, and it's forced her to find other ways to occupy her time.

Because no matter how much toy clutter is stuffed into their rooms, my kids always default to electronics when it's time to find something to do. At our garage sale last month, I think they got rid of every single game and toy they got for Christmas last year. It was sobering and sad to see how quickly they are letting their childhoods go. It always makes me happy when they act like kids again, at least for a little bit.

Looking around my daughter's room, I'm amazed at how much it looks like something I recognize from my own childhood—on the table now are paper, markers, all the LEGOs we own, a radio and this doll. Oh yeah, and a pile of socks that may or may not be dirty.

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