When your baby turns 14, it’s time to:
Get rid of the pre-school books you’ve saved all these years
Ditto the smocked rompers and duckling-appliqued Easter outfits
Box up the Legos
Send off the outgrown hoodies and ski jackets which fit before Christmas, but don’t anymore.
All this was done over the last few weeks, as I faced reality and vowed to cut down on clutter.
Off to Goodwill went a box labeled Ian and Hugh’s Christmas books which had sat in a corner of the attic gathering dust, lo these many years.
Out went the outgrown coats and sweatshirts.
Next to leave, the baby outfits that surely, someone, somewhere, can use.
I was wrong about the toys being passe, however. While they have not been much of a feature in our lives for several years, two recent events reminded me of how much boys like toys.
In the first instance, Ian gave Hugh a jacket for Christmas. In the pocket of said jacket he had tucked a Carl Weathers action figure that he found at a thrift shop.
Carl has been played with non-stop ever since. Someone is constantly posing him or just absent-mindedly moving his arms and legs and head around out of idle nervous energy. This tiny tough guy says and does outrageous things. In terms of being appreciated and used, Carl may have been the very best Christmas gift of 2010.
In the second instance, Malcolm found an unopened tin of silly putty that I had hidden away in a desk drawer years ago. This has been played with every single day since it was unearthed. Putty has coated the glass knob of a cake dome. It has been made into spirals and left on the counter for the next person to interpret. It has been made into a whale consuming several snakes. Yesterday it played a role in the football shrine set up in front of the Eagles game on TV. What it will be next is anyone’s guess.
What a relief. Despite the fact that my baby is 14, he has not outgrown toys. And neither have his big brothers. Or his dad. Or his Uncle Ken. Or his dad’s childhood friend Eric.
Witness the characters they found to populate the Eagles shrine during yesterday’s game.
On second thought, I’m not sending the box of Legos anywhere - yet.