“What was your favorite toy as a child?”
This is a post I could rant and rave on forever. I feel that I was blessed and had so many toys, but I did not really realize it until now when I think back and try to decide what exactly was my favorite. This is difficult because I think that I played
My mind first went to a few places – stuffed animals, Legos, ‘Batmen’ (AKA action figures), and when we were outdoors it was Tonka Trucks, bikes, and playing baseball.
As I try to think back, I am not sure that I could peg one toy as being my favorite because I tried to treat them as equals and give them the same amount of love (maybe my younger brother forcing us to watch Toy Story 100+ days straight had some sort of effect on me).
Every night before bed, I would have to organize all of my stuffed animals on my bunk bed to sleep with me. I easily had around 30, definitely over 20, and would spend a lot of time arranging them just right before a bedtime story and then lights out. Some of my favorites were a Winnie the Pooh that I still have and is now in my son Zander’s room, Woody the Woodpecker (who probably was my favorite) and then the rest of the pack was riddled with random stuffed animals I had gotten from family or vacations. I specifically remember two dolphins I got from Sea World (Flipper and Dipper) – but probably my most favorite was a tiny Tigger stuffed animal. It was somewhat of a knockoff-looking version of him, but it was something that I had since I was a baby.
My parents always tell the story of how they would make it sneeze and I would crack up with deep-belly laughs. I thought that this Tigger was lost forever until I found it a couple months ago while going through a box of Beanie Babies that we collected.
And on that note, and the length of my description of the stuffed animals, I think it is safe to say that those were my favorite toys – and toys that I knew I had to reject at some point to keep from getting made fun of. I don’t remember sleeping with stuffed animals once we moved to our new house – maybe I did, but I remember always keeping them in my room or closet.
There was always something about these characters that I loved. Perhaps it was the comfort they offered, or the sense of safety when sleeping in my own bed and eventually my own room (not sharing with my brother). What I love now is that I was able to pass some of my animals onto my 5 month old son and hope that he will enjoy them as much as I did.
I have to laugh because it is somewhat disarming to talk of toys and sensitive things as a grown man, yet I am not afraid of my feelings or feel any shame. I want my son to know that it is okay to be a kid and to not always play with Tonka trucks and Legos, he can do what he wants and he needs to explore the creativity that his mind creates without the dictates of society or flawed adults interfering with the innocence of a child. Childhood is a time to explore and learn, not to be hindered or indoctrinated, and I am excited to see him progress through life. I just hope time slows down so we can all enjoy the journey.