Over the last decade, things I haven’t seen in 40 years have slowly begun making their way back to me.
The latest item is a tiny, glass mug that’s showing its age. It was given to me by a car hop at the A&W Root Beer Drive In that used to be located on Stateline Avenue in Texarkana.
I got it when I was about three years old. A&W gave the mugs to children and offered free refills in them to get the kids to wart the parents to go back there whenever the family went out to eat again.
It worked. At least at my house.
But, I had long forgotten about that mug when my mom called one day and asked if I wanted it.
This was the latest such offer of returning my childhood items. Previous offers have included my baby spoon, baby portrait, toddler cowboy boots, and my rocking horse.
Of course, none of these items now have any practical use to me (save the baby spoon – which, according to my last doctor visit might be a wise alternative to the adult size utensils that have led to my less-than-stellar cholesterol). But, these were all things that my mother treasured, and so she kept them.
Moms consider any item associated with their children’s formative years to be as valuable as the things found in Tut’s tomb.
And the items I’m now getting back are fast approaching the age of the things found in Tut’s tomb.
But, what do I do with all of these things? I highly doubt that any of my kids ever would have any interest in these items once I’m gone. That is, unless one or more of the items had significant value and could be liquidated for cash to buy a new TV.
And I don’t see that being the case.
But, I’m flattered that my mother felt that these items were worth keeping. I’m not complaining at all. I think that it’s amazing that she kept up with all of this.
When a mom hangs on to all of your things, it means one thing: She loves you.
After I moved out of my old room (to give you an idea of how long ago this was, the room had lime green carpet and a light fixture with the old smiley faces on it) and got my first apartment, my room stayed pretty much the same for a few years.
Things I didn’t take with me, which included my comic books, some of my old pairs of shoes (which I had a penchant for never throwing away), and even some of my oldest toys and games, kept their place in my bedroom closet.
I discovered this in much the same way that Mr. Carter discovered that Tut’s room had remained untouched since his departure.
I opened the door to my old closet to look for something and was surprised to see that things had remained pretty much as I had left them. There were some clothes hanging in there that weren’t mine, but other than that, mom had left it as it was.
Until one day a few years after that, I got a phone call. She had decided that if I wanted to keep the remaining items from my adolescent and teen years, then I needed to pick up what I wanted and find a place for the rest.
I was informed that if I wanted my comic books, I’d better come get them.
Relieved that she hadn’t thrown them out (I had hundreds of comics that dated back to the 1950s), I said that I’d be happy to come get them.
My wife was not happy that I was happy to come get them. But, we drove over and I picked them up and loaded them into the car.
A few other things that made me nostalgic also came back with me.
I took the box of plastic army men, my derby racer I made in Scouts, a windup metal tank, and a pricing stamper I had used when I worked at Piggly Wiggly.
My wife was thrilled that I was bringing home more things than the several hundred old comic books.
These items have lived on various shelves in all of the places I’ve lived over the years and now they’ve been joined by my baby spoon, cowboy boots, portrait, and the A&W Root Beer mug. The rocking horse was given to someone who could use it.
It’s great that these items are still around, but what should I do with them?
Maybe the Egyptians had it figured out a long time ago. Hang on to everything and then build a beautiful and elaborate room and put the person and all of their stuff in it.
I could provide for funding to build a replica of my old room (right down to the lime green carpet and smiley faces light fixture) and put all of these items in there with me when I’m gone. Thousands of years from now, someone will unearth it and all of my items will be displayed in museums. People will travel from all over to see them.
All of them except for the comic books. One of my kids actually wants those.