Monday, August 18, 2008

When bad parents purge good stuff

In my 36 years, I have owned many precious things. Regrettably, many of those things have long disappeared. Where is all of the stuff I loved as a child, adored as a teenager, or created as a young adult? Being a bit of a pack-rat in earlier years leads me to the assumption that these cherished items were purged by parents (an act I am admittedly guilty of now that I am a Mom). Were they lost in moves, sold in yard sales, pitched on garbage day?

When I do secretly sort through my boys’ belongings, I try to purge items they really show no, or very little, interest in. Of course I would never toss their favourite stuffies or books, board games or artwork. But really, how can we ever be sure we are removing unnoticed—and unwanted—items? I suppose there is no true way. Best defense is to be prepared for them to notice, and have a darned good alibi.

If I could snap my fingers to retrieve them, here are a few items I would want back in a heartbeat:

My Fisher-Price Castle. My boys would have loved it. How could my Mom throw/give this away? I remember playing with it for hours and hours. Where the heck it is now? Geez, just seeing this picture from eBay brings back so many crazy castle adventures.

My DuoTang Full of Floorplans. I don’t recall exactly when it was, but at about age 13 I started drawing floor plans for houses and phenomenal mansions. I would swipe ask my Mom to bring home pads of graph paper from her office, and they would be filled up in no time with pencil sketches of complete homes. Kitchens and bathrooms designed for optimum efficiency and storage, furnishings arranged, even landscaping planned out. I remember pouring over every detail, and dreaming of seeing these homes built in real life. If I could put my hands on this collection, I’m certain I would be one of Canada’s—heck, North America’s—well, in that case, THE WORLD’s—highest paid, and highly regarded architects.

Andrew’s car keys. Okay, I don’t really care if we never see these keys again. We don’t even own the car they belong to anymore. They’re just one of those things that I put somewhere for safe-keeping (I take full responsibility)‚ and have never seen since. Since losing these keys in 2001, we have moved houses, searched every corner before leaving, and have unpacked each and every box. In their memory, we use these keys as a joke response to the frequently asked question “Hey, guess what I saw today?” Damn, I wish I knew where I put those. So unlike me. Really.

What do you remember from days gone by that you no longer have, but wish you did?


  1. You know I must say my mom was actually good about keeping the things my sister and I loved as kids. She has since cleaned them up and now it is such a joy to watch my daughter get to use these old toys too.

  2. I can't think of anything offhand (besides the piano, but that's a long story and I now understand why it went). But I do have to say I'm sooo lucky. My mom kept that castle, and lego too! There are other items that haven't been unboxed yet, or so I'm told. It was so much fun at Christmas - not just Christmas presents, but also the CASTLE! Cameron loved it.

  3. I would love to see some of my Barbies, and even my little Barbie corvette (pink, of course!). Leah would have fun with those when she gets older . . . ah, the memories.

    The key issue had me laughing. We lost a set of our van keys over a year ago - they were gone for roughly a year, then I found them in a pocket of a raincoat I never wear. We were too lazy/cheap to get all new locks and keys for the van, so we were down to one set of keys (bad idea). The worst part was, last summer, I flew home to Halifax for a weekend. Got a call on my cell when I landed there from my hubby, asking me where the van keys were (our deal had been they must always be on the hook, b/c we only have one set). They were in my purse. He had two toddlers for a whole weekend and couldn't drive our van . . . the only vehicle with car seats in it. I haven't really been forgiven for that one yet :-)

  4. I still have my castle, too.
    And when I visited my fiancee's parents' house - another castle from HER childhood!