rainbow brite. check. pound puppy. check. gigantic rubbermaid full of play food. check. gigantic rubbermaid full of 392 beanie babies. check. gigantic rubbermaid full of Lord only knows what. check.
Two weeks ago my Mom and Dad were cleaning out their attic and came across alllll of the toys my brother and I had from when we were little. Seriously. All of them. Birthday's and Christmas at my house resemble things you see in movies (It might be why I love these holiday's so much to this day. My mom has always had an amazing ability of rocking out a holiday). So, my mom brought some of the toys from her attic to me for Jackson. She left everything with a pitiful "whatever you don't want you can donate to a church or the goodwill." Thanks mom.
At first all I could think of was "where am I going to put all of this stuff in my tiny apartment" then, "how am I going to choose what to get rid of." Why am I sitting her tonight strangely grateful to my parents in a completely new way.
In a previous post I commented on how having a baby changes everything...and that really applies to everything. What are now old toys in rubbermaids were once things I just had to have. HAD to have. Like, my world would cease to exist if I didn't get it. Sure it's just 'stuff' but to a child who doesn't understand the meaning of life and all that goes on in the world (nor did I care for that matter) it was more than just stuff.
My mom knew this...she knew how much I wanted these things. She also knew how limited her budget was. So, she and my dad did what they have always done. They went without so that I could have whatever it is I was wanting at the time. Now, don't get me wrong. I got told no... it wasn't a pitch a fit so I can get whatever I want kind of thing and there were plenty of things I just had to have that I did not get...but the list of "no" doesn't stand out. The stuff doesn't really stand out...it's the sacrifice. I know how difficult it is to live on a budget and my parents had half the budget I have. I remember going into stores and my mom taking me to the toy section or my clothing section and never even looking at anything for herself. My parents didn't go on date nights or vacations alone. They did everything with us...for us. I'm ever grateful.
I know that it wouldnt have mattered in the long run had I never gotten any of this 'stuff.' My parents love me and always will - I've never doubted that a day in my life. But as a parent myself now I finally get what it is that they were doing. They didn't have to buy me anything...they wanted to. They wanted to do without so that I could do with. They enjoyed giving to us...seeing the joy it brought to our lives. They wanted to take me and my brother on every vacation with them. They wanted to spend their free time with us...because they love us. How amazing is that?
So even though I still have to find room for all of my old stuff - I'm grateful to have to find a place for it. What a blessing to have so many reminders of my childhood...so many reminders of the sacrifices that were made for me. Each of these old toys were once new surprises, birthday and christmas gifts that my parents couldn't wait to give me...I feel the same way now with Jackson. I appreciate everything my parents have done for me. I've always been such a lucky girl.