I once left my parents house in a huff because my mother wanted to get rid of my stuffed animals. There was one in particular that I did not want to part with, a giant no wait, enormous bear that my husband (then boyfriend) spent hours trying to win at Top Dog. It didn’t bother me that my room was cluttered with bears, bunnies, doggies and whatever else fits into a crane machine. I just loved having them around, letting them go was unimaginable. I looked at my room through the eyes of a teenager not the eyes of a mother.
Last week when I walked into my daughter’s bedroom I became overwhelmed at the amount of dolls, bears, bunnies and whatever else fits into a crane machine. I felt like I was looking in Gertie’s closet that E.T. hid so well in. I grabbed a bag and started packing away the stuffed animals I considered to be junk. I was envisioning how nice the room would look with less stuff when my thoughts got interrupted by the waling of my oldest daughter. “What are you doing?” Her giant green eyes glared at me filling with tears. “Sweetie, you have entirely too many in here, surely I can get rid of some,” I said. I was certain that I got her to see the room through my eyes and then my memory resurfaced and instead I saw the room through hers.
It’s what the stuffed animals’ represent that makes it so hard to part with them. They are reminders of good times in our lives. They represent the days that we were winners, days we received love and moments of sadness that brightened once we received them. Moments that you don’t want to throw away and forget about, moments you want to recall and reminisce about.
I took the animals out of the bag and helped her arrange them as neatly as possible and realized that being surrounded by them made her feel loved and I felt stuffed with humility.