It all began with a tiny red crocheted sweater and little pants. My first baby (Kid One) had outgrown them and at four months old was into other cute treasures. Kid One is almost 34 today.

Like it was yesterday, I remember this moment. A group of us passed around clothes and toys to each other with great abandon. We each had our own colour of thread and stitched a piece in that back of the clothes so eventually they'd come back when we were having our second (and third) kids.

I couldn't part with the red sweater and the wee pants. So I set them aside. I set other things aside, too. I set aside the crib tweety bird my dad bought all by himself for Kid One. And then the board books. Just the special ones.

Same thing with Kid Two. As they grew, they, too, started to ask, "Mommy, can we save this?" And saving these things turned into wrapping them up, writing notes about where they came from, who bought them, why they were significant. Saving things turned into boxes of dinky toys, Barbie campers, special dolls, the cradle made by Grampa... you get the picture. Later on Kid One wanted ALL of Castle Grayskull saved... the huge castle, all the characters, the books, all of it. And all the Rupert books. And Noddy.

We've moved four times now, each time finding a place to 'tuck' these boxes.

As we were moving from house 3 to house 4, Kid Two was helping re-box a few things. "Melvie!" she shrieked when she unwrapped her cabbage patch baby (not the doll, the baby!). She was 20!

Are you getting the picture?

In all, on moving day four years ago over 60 boxes made their way to one room in our totally finished basement. I strung a huge curtain across the room and carved out a place for my sewing machine and ironing board so I had a space to work in.

However... this stuff isn't all going to fit into my cremation urn. And all the kids have their own houses now and all the houses are at least as big as ours.

Time to load up a box or two during every visit.

"Hi honey!" And I'd slip a box down on the hall floor. They may not want any of this any more, but that is their decision. At one point they did. I feel I've done my best to save their treasures, and knowing I likely wouldn't remember where it all came from, I'm really glad I wrote the notes.

Anyway, here's the big news. I expect at least one-third of Barrie could share this delight, this ecstasy, this incredible achievement with me! The boxes have all been delivered! It's taken four years!

And now, what's behind the curtain? Well, it's a well equipped play area, with a little cupboard, an easel, a table & chairs, lots of play food, Grandpa's cradle, a little high chair... place for granddaughters to play!

Now, that's fair trade! I'm just going to call my mom and make sure I got all my boxes when I left home in 1967!

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