Not too long ago, I mentioned that I had Barbie accessories belonging to both Lela and I when we were kids. I needed to take some pictures of them to try to sell them.
I finally got around to taking the pictures this weekend. I started with my stuff (although I'm still missing a Barbie Mountain Cabin around here somewhere!) and then moved on to Lela's.
Let me say this. Lela lived right down the street from me. Literally, down the hill. There were approximately 5 houses between us. We spent endless days and nights together. Endless.
As I opened each thing that belonged to me, I had a flood of memories of playing with these things as a child. Not just alone, but with every friend I had over and every stinking one of my cousins. Barbie clothes that are worn from being taken on and off so many times. A Barbie bed that I put her to sleep in many times. Barbie living room furniture that Ken and Barbie sat on. Dining room furniture that I could never really get the dolls to sit at without falling over. But it was fun to set the table with the miniature Barbie dishes, anyway.
And then I opened Lela's things and I was like a child in a toy store. I was in awe of the awesomeness of these items. Blow-up Barbie furniture. The Barbie Country Camper. The Barbie fishing set, complete with boat, fishing rod, tackle box, back pack, etc. Barbie gardening tools. No signs of wear.
I was in awe. Really. BECAUSE I'D NEVER SEEN HALF THESE THINGS BEFORE. And I'd most CERTAINLY never played with them! WTH? We've known each other for 38+ years! Frankly, by the perfect condition of most of these items, I'm not sure Lela ever played with them either.
And then I started to remember more. I remembered the room down in Lela's basement where their toys and games were stored. Every toy in it's original box, in it's spot on the shelf. I remember looking at all those toys with longing and admiration, though rarely able to touch.
Lela loves to say that I had all the 'cool' stuff as a kid. I'm here to tell you, she had some REALLY cool stuff!
I called Lela and we talked about these things. We laughed and commented on the craziness of it all. Turns out she and her sister had just recently had the same discussion, at much greater lengths.
I'm sure Lela and her sister played with those toys, but Lela's mom (who I love to this day, don't get me wrong) didn't really like the idea of a bunch of kids in the house making messes that she would have to clean up, or noise she'd have to listen to. Nah, we did that stuff at MY house!
It's complicated, to be sure. And something I never realized as a kid. It's funny how you realize things about your childhood when you can look back through adult eyes.
But I have to say, though my old toys may show a bit more wear, I think they also show a bit more "childhood". After all, toys are for playing with. I do hope all of these toys get into the hands of young girls who will play with them, enjoy them and love them.