The toy box sits in the corner of the room these days, neglected, unused, and generally forgotten about. It has been years since the children have even acknowledged the joy that has come at the expense of the toys that are now compacted into those six walls, but I still can’t bring myself to get rid of it.
Memories of jubilant Saturday mornings fill my head, of the children creating stories out of the dolls and Tonka trucks. Little green army men out to save the world being trampled on by a teddy bear that had transformed into “Bearacus the Destroyer”. Puzzle pieces strewn across the floor as they tried to compete to see which one could finish the fastest. Lastly, the numerous unspoken curses I held in as I stepped on countless Lego blocks while cleaning up after them.
It’s easy to forget the joys of your children, to forget those moments when life seemed so chaotic that you couldn’t wait for them to grow up so you could have real conversations with them. Those days of afternoon naps, tea parties, coloring book marathons and snuggling up on the couch after a day of running around cleaning up after them.
Too easy to forget as you rush forward with life.
Until that life is grown up and no longer needs you to wipe their nose, help them with their homework, kiss the boo-boo’s to make them better, read them bedtime stories or tuck them in.
G.I. Joe and Barbie are all grown up now, starting families of their own. The play room sits silent, transformed into an office and the house is quieter. The days I wished for have finally arrived.
And all I’m left with are memories.
And the toy box in the corner.