No one ever forgets a toy that made him or her supremely happy as a child, even if that toy is replaced by one like it that is much nicer.
What was your favorite toy? The one you still recall with such joy. The joy toy I guess.
Age makes me realise that past memories often get viewed through rose colored glasses. Sometimes very scratched, hazy glasses. Equally often, thoughts like that seem too grown up and sensible. Captain sensible – is that what I’ve become? Gawd I hope not. The memory of my special toy is alive and well because he’s alive and well.
Back to the toy. Toys. I loved my toys, and I am forever grateful to my poor Mum & Dad for getting me so many even when they struggled to put food on the table.
Before the days of Hot Wheels you could only get Matchbox toy cars (well you could also get Corgi cars but they were kinda too big). The perfect small, relatively inexpensive gift. Matchbox cars were fantastic. Long trails of traffic snaked their way in jams across my bed, around crash sites and races and demolition derbies. I didn’t even really care what sort of cars they were. Realistic old ones, exotic cars, vans, race cars – they were all loved the same for me. I never really liked toy trucks though. They were out of scale to the cars I loved so much.
In the age of early color TV I fell in love with sci-fi shows, and when merchandising started invading our shores I was an avid consumer – well I wanted to be. Drove my parents nuts wanting this and that when they had so little to spare. Lost in Space, Star Trek, Thunderbirds – they were faves.
I have to say that the demands I placed on my parents were nothing like the demands placed on parents these days. Technology has a lot to answer for. The prices of the latest gadgets and their accessories and games are outrageous. Peer pressure comes into play when the kids friends all have a particular way of playing, often online and together. I don’t want my son to go without, or to have the fear of missing out.
Back to those old days with that old toy though. The one that made me extremely happy. Supremely happy. Which one was it? Probably my humble soft teddy bear. Yes, the one I dragged around, the one that followed me everywhere, my best friend from a very young age. I remember having plenty of other soft toys, but none were like Ted. I still have him.
He’s so worn out now. Most of the ‘fur’ is down to the – what was it? – canvas? – I don’t know, but down to the ‘skin’, and one arm is hanging by a thread. As is one eye. I’ve often wondered whether I caused all that wear, of if he has just aged like I have. He must be over 50 now. The little box inside that made some noise when he moved has long since stopped working, and now my all but silent little Ted just has a clunky rattle from within. But I love him. Really do.
Brings me to tears how much I still love my teddy bear.
I’ve hoarded stuff throughout the years and had many clean ups and clear outs too. Yet Ted has survived. Even multiple countries, and so so many house moves. I decided not so long ago to put him in a clear plastic display bag instead of having him on an open shelf. Guess I finally realised I want to preserve him.
While I have many ‘things’ I’d love my son to have when I die, I realise that much of it he won’t actually want. And that’s OK. I’m sure he’ll take care of my main bass, ‘Audrey’. But I’ll need to remind him to look after my old Teddy.
What was your favorite toy? Why? Do you still have that toy?