I plunder through the house on a semi-weekly basis, looking for items to pass onto the fine folks at Goodwill. I try to keep my emotions in check as I rid the home of all proof that babies and toddlers and preschoolers once shared my life. I save the most meaningful of clothes, intending to learn to quilt in my very old age. [I believe I'm less than a decade from that demographic status.] [Of course, I have no sewing skills whatsoever, so perhaps I should learn to sew at least a button or hem before I tackle quilting baby clothes.]
There are some tangible items I'm unable to just give to the very folks that need them most. For example, a wooden rocking horse my mother gave Eldest when he turned one. A beautiful horse that the kids all played with. I couldn't give it to just some name-less person. I gave it to a little boy a couple of blocks away whose older "sister" -- a dog named Kayla -- we see many days when we're at the field with the mutton-head. The boy has a name. He has a face. He now has a beloved rocking horse.
For a couple of years, Daughter was enthralled, nay, obsessed with Care Bears. Push-over Daddy would buy her one whenever they were out and about. [Okay, so would push-over Mom-mom, who was always in a competition with Daddy for Daughter's affections.] By the time Daughter was done with Care Bears, we had more than 40-odd critters.
For the past year, they have sat in a white garbage bag on a shelf in the dining room closet. I couldn't bear to part with them, even though she barely cared they existed any longer. She has converted, regular readers know, to the Webkinz religion, a religion far more expensive and intense than the Care Bears religion ever was.
On Monday, the Care Bears found there way in the garbage bag through the park to the school. On my way to give them to the angelic younger sister of a new friend of Youngest's, I distributed probably about 10 to various elementary school kids (and one maintenance guy turning on the water play structure in the park). But 33 of them found their way to E., who has a face and a name and a smile showing she will love those Care Bears as they deserve to be loved.