Yesterday the children and I went through all of their toys, bin by bin, until we had sorted out all of the broken toys and those that were no longer being used. We discussed how with our little house and another baby on the way, in addition to the toys they would likely receive from their upcoming birthdays and at Christmas time, we needed to declutter. We talked about how there are many little children that are not as privileged as our family has been that would love playing with the toys they no longer used.
Caleb came downstairs with each addition to the give-away pile and explained why he was or perhaps was not going to add it to the donation pile. At the end of the experience, we had 2 bags of broken bits and a big box of toys to donate. All felt accomplished........that is until Caleb proudly told Papa about what they had done that day. He announced that had had given away his road grater and snow plow. A sad look came over Jason's face. I know he remembered playing with the boys and the road grater and snow plow. But, he said nothing.
Today, we went by the Goodwill to drop of our box of toys. After dropping them off, Caleb said he felt bad about himself for giving away his toys. As I worked this through with him, he started to mention the road grater and snow plow and how much he really liked them and wished he hadn't given them away. The funny thing is, I completely understood. It was as if the process of giving these favored toys away was a process of saying goodbye once again.......goodbye to the two little boys excitedly awaiting Papa's return from work so they could play with their favorite cars and toys on the living room floor, which, of course, included the road grater and snow plow. Sure, now they have moved on to excitedly await Papa's return so they can play tag, soccer or football outside....or play a game on Papa's phone...but the road grater and snow plow are no more.
I felt like weeping. I nearly, and I'm not kidding you here, drove back through the Goodwill drop off to see if our box was still unloaded.....tell them we had made a mistake and put a favorite toy inside.......and could we please have it back.
In the end, I decided to let it go.....to open my clenched fist and say goodbye once again, so that there would be room for the next special treasure that would take it's place. However, in the meantime.....I can say this: Goodbye little road grater and snow plow. You will be missed.