When you're a kid, there's no thought about tomorrow. Children are very "now" creatures; what is right in front of them at that particular moment is important and not much else. Toys are no exception to this rule. My brother and I played hard with our toys, just like every other kid out there. Toys needed to be sturdy to make it at our house. Whatever we imagined, our toys helped us to make it a reality, at least in the time between school and bedtime. Whenever we moved, my mother would cull the battered and broken pieces of our imagination and haul them off to the dumpster or the thrift shop.
It would be unfathomable to any child that they leave their toys wrapped in their original packaging to accumulate in value. There was none of that ridiculous "mint-in box" nonsense during my childhood! Toys were meant to be played with, fer cryin' out loud! Half of the joy was just opening the box and getting the toy ready for adventure. Children could care less about storing their treasures away--play hard or go home was our motto. And we did it all without helmets, knee pads, or common sense.
If I would have been more future-oriented, like no child ever, I would never have conducted unsanctioned abdominal surgery on my Mrs. Beasely doll, or overfed my BabyAlive. Certainly, I would have refrained from using a curling iron to update the hairdo on my Malibu Barbie! And my brother and I definitely would have treated our comic books better, although we weren't about to stuff them into plastic envelopes. That would have been silly.
I had a few toys that I kept over the years, ones that I cherished. One of these toys is a small stuffed St. Bernard. I received it as a Christmas present from a friend of my parents when I was eight or nine years old. We were in Germany, a completely different world, and we were all feeling the culture shock as well as the cold. For some reason, the little gift from someone who was a complete stranger touched my heart.
He used to sit on my bed or on the table next to it. Whenever we traveled, my pup went with me, safe in my bag. Faithfully, he guarded my dreams and listened to my childhood woes. If I sang along with the radio, he never cringed when I went flat. If I read until 3am, he never barked at me to go to sleep. He really was my best friend.
I never named him, however. I named all of my other toys, before I destroyed them with vigorous imaginings, but not this guy. He was different. I was also never rough with him; I regarded him as fragile, and treated him with kid gloves. I still do.
Today this rare gem lives in a box at the top of my closet. I don't dare take him out of that box. Not only would my fragile friend have to deal with Maisy the Destructor attempting to use him for a chew toy, he would have to face the smiling face of my six year old. One look at those eyes merrily contemplating shenanigans, and my poor toy would disintegrate. Maybe I'll let Zane look at him when he's the same age as I was. Sort of a full circle thing.
Maybe he can have it when he's in college. Yeah.
4.) A childhood toy you once loved.