As S. has grown over the past two and a half years, I have consistently given away her toys, books, and clothes to family and friends with small children. I did, however, keep her two favorite baby toys and intended to put them away in a box for her. My parents had done the same for me – kept some baby outfits, my baptismal candle, and a JCPenny catalog from the year I was born. Those items have long been lost in their hoard, but I know they existed, and I remember looking at them at least once during my early adolescence with curiosity and appreciation.
My two selected toys to keep were Sophie the Giraffe, the iconic (and ridiculously expensive) French squeaking rubber chew toy for babies and a little cow/teether/mirror thing that was the first toy S. brought to her mouth on her own on her first major trip while we were stranded in Milwaukee.
About two weeks ago S. found Sophie and asked to bring her to the bathtub. Sophie’s leg quickly sprang a leak, which S. picked at until it became an unfixable hole. Today I laid Sophie to rest in the trash.
It has never been excessively hard for me to throw away broken toys or ruined clothing, but the moment when I had to hide Sophie in the trashcan so S. wouldn’t try to drag her back out again was a little disconcerting. It almost felt like burying babyhood but without the celebration that should entail.