Revisiting your childhood...

I’ve gotten to thinking about this recently because of all the children I have and then grandkids recently, and I try to save things for them all that I think they might want when they get to be my age (and you know what, I’m not old enough to be here yet, dammit!) It’s odd to be a posterity packrat, I know, but quite a few parents also do this, and so I’m not that far off the map.

I vividly remember certain objects from my childhood that I truly wish I had in my possession today - a Cinderella doll with clear plastic (glass) slippers I received at Christmas when I was five, a metal dollhouse that had magnets on sticks to move the people/dolls around the house with, somewhat later, a piece of the plaster cast I wore on my leg for months after a mini-bike accident when I was 13 (and I was so proud of myself!), and the list goes on. It’s all just memories but sometimes the tangibility of a thing can deem that thing much dearer to one’s psyche.

Did your parents keep your stuff for you? Do you have any of it? Do you wish that you did? And if so, what would those things be?

Why are you looking here? I have no sig file.

I think about this way too often – I’m a major packrat with sentimental attachments to everything, and my mother was an anti-packrat. My mother saved one childhood memento, a laminated wallpaper duck that I made when I was 7.

Now, what do I want? All my childhood toys! The big things I remember are my baseball card collection, the Nintendo, the antique desk, my life-size Raggedy Andy doll, Dolly Sunshine, my white straw sunvisor from a project I did in 3rd grade, and pretty much everything.

If I ever have children, I’m going to have to rent a storage space to store their childhood mementos. :smiley:

My mom saved a lot of stuff, but not much that I am interested in. I am only 25, though, so all those report cards and baby clothes might be interesting to me someday.
I’ve been pretty much my own “keeper of momentos.” I have several scrapbooks from about 5th grade on, more photo albulms than anyone should have, and many boxes full of keepsakes.
I think d_redguy gets tired of all my “saving,” but I love looking through those thing a few years later.

Stuff I wish I had:

A particular stuffed pink dog.
Any photographs of my biological father and his family.
A baby book

My folks kept all sorts of things from my childhood - books, blankets, some homemade outfits, metal and wood shop projects, art projects, all sorts.

I have several of my first books, many very un-pc now but interesting to look at, and Toby - my favourite bear. Oh how I miss my hippo though :frowning:

My parents kept some stuff from my babyhood. Due to a house fire when I was 12, most of the stuff they’d saved burned up, but they managed to keep some stuffed animals (including a rabbit my mom needlepointed) and blankets. It’s a shame, too, because my dad made me a beautiful wooden rocking giraffe that I’d’ve loved to have for Aaron.


When I moved out of the house, my dad told me to take everything I wanted because he would be throwing out everything left. I took my old barbie dolls and some glass figurines I collected and gave the rest to my sister for safe keeping. She threw them out. I would like to have, my old stuffed lion and a Bozo the Clown doll I had.

We were “financially challenged” when I was growing up, and as a result I really didn’t have a whole lot of “stuff.” What little money I made from my paper route I used to buy used paperback sci-fi novels, most of which I still have today.

Once I graduated college and law school and moved out on my own, I started buying all the cool stuff I wanted to have as a child.


My mom saved all my report cards ( 12 years of mediocrity!) and a bunch of toys ( Fisher Price Farm, a nice dollhouse with furniture and my wooden puzzle of the US, of which my children are not allowed to touch under penalty of a dirty look from me.)

I’m saving for them so far, one toy per stage. As they are only 3 & nearly 5, it’s not alot.

But I do wish I had my banana seat bike from when I was a kid. Maaaan, I was sooooo *cool *.

(And my Barbies and all their ultra hip clothes.)

My dad was a packrat, and when he died, we found so many odd things. All our baby teeth. Old eyeglasses. Nothing too weird, just sentimental.

The thing that has been so valuable to all of us now are all his slides. He was a photography enthusiast and always took Kodachrome slides. Kodachrome surely does hold up over the years, since they all still look great! He was a very prolific photographer, so there are thousands of them, dating back to the late '50s. I just bought a scanner that will actually do decent slide scans (most of the low-end scanners have a sucky “transparency adapter”, but this one is actually good.). I’ve been having a great time going through his slides. I know the rest of the family is interested in the slides too. I’ll have to burn CDRs of everything I’ve scanned and give everyone a copy. (Damned if I’m going to print them all out for everyone!)

Funny, at the time my dad was taking all these pictures, his sisters (the Aunties) bitched and bitched about all the time he was “wasting”. (He’d make them wait and pose at certain family outings, wait until after he’d photographed the Christmas tree before opening presents, wait to eat until after he’d photographed the Thanksgiving turkey, etc.). Now I know that the Aunties will eagerly want to see all these photos that they so bitterly bitched about when they were actually being taken. Ironic, isn’t it?

My mom threw out all the stuff we had at home when she moved after I went to college. The only things I kept were the ones I took with me - basically, my book collection. In contrast, my wife’s parents kept everything, and are saving things for the grandkids. Part of this is because my wife had 3 younger siblings, and a lot of the stuff just got passed down.

Maybe the next time my wife wants me to cut down on my book collection, I’ll point out that it’s the last thing I have from my childhood… :wink:

Anyway, one of the things from when I was a kid that I wish had been saved was my extensive “Micronauts” toy collection. I think my son would really have enjoyed it (he liked Lego’s quite a bit). Alas, it wasn’t saved, and in any case my son is getting old for that kind of thing anyway.

My mom not only saved, but still uses, a sort of note-holder I made of 2 paper plates when I was in the first grade. (I am 27).

Our sons are using the toys and books epeepunk’s parents stored in the attic. Lots of them, some hand made, others purchased. It was fascinating when they cleared out the attic, because so many of the toys he had were ones I had, too. Same make and model, same everything. Even the books. We seem to have had almost the same childhood, separated by many states…

It was really cool that he had those, especially, because I did not. My mom saved a bunch of things, buy my step-dad threw out a bunch of things, and sold (!) a lot of our toys, too (while we were still kids, even). When mom moved with us across the country (post-divorce), all that saved stuff got tossed. We did get to go through it, though, before we left. There were two drawings I was thrilled to see again because I remembered doing them. One was a page of lines connecting in U shapes (like the bottom of a square) - I was trying to draw triangles, but could NOT get the darn lines to close at the top. I remember mom leaning back over her seat in the car (we were parked somewhere waiting for someone), patiently redrawing triangles for me to copy, and her encouragement when I tried and failed yet again to make the lines meet at the top. :Sniff: I thought it was particularly cool that she saved that because it was so important an experience to ME - and she must have recognized that, because she kept it. :slight_smile:

The other was a drawing I made of my big sister. In profile, even! It was the classic hair growing off the back of the head, oblong body parts stuck together, rigid triangle skirt, etc., kid-draws-people drawing. I remember drawing it - and to me, the drawing at the time did not look at all like what was on the paper. It looked just exactly like real life. All the lines were smooth, the hair was long and flowing, the profile was just like hers (not a circle with a triangle stuck on the front for a nose), the arms and hands were strong and ‘real’ looking, etc. I can still remember both the image I saw when I drew it and the image that was recorded on the paper. Quite a shock, that difference. And a fascinating glimpse into the transitions in perception between preschool and preteen.

Can you guess what I save of our kids’ stuff? Yeah, art. They’ll probably wish I saved something else, though.

My mom saved the little blue sweater she knitted for me that I was wearing the day I tried to dye my hair black with shoe polish when I was about four. Still has the black stains around the neck. And another red cardigan sweater she knitted.

My “train dress” (pink & white horizontal stripes with a choo-choo train going around the front a few inches above the hem) that I wore on Easter when I was four and had the chicken pox. Along with the pink coat and hat that completed the outfit.

Another two dresses that, judging from the increase in size are my Easter dresses from five & six years old. A (used to be white) long-sleeved one with navy blue trim around the collar, cuffs and hem. Kind of nautical looking. And a short-sleeved white one with pink piping on the collar and cuffs. Something like a sewed-on pink belt that ties in the back, and two faux pocket flaps with pink buttons for “flowers” and embroidered green leaves. These dresses are filthy. Anyone have suggestions on how to go about cleaning them? They seem to be cotton and have a lot of cigarette smoke staining.

My red T-strap buckle shoes from the same eara with a perforated pattern in the toes, that still carry the pen marks I put on the bottom of them so I could remember which was right and which was left.

An oil portrait my older sister did of me when she was 16 and I was 5. It’s really bad. Same sister has a corduroy Santa I made when I was first allowed to use the sewing machine. It has hair and beard of white yarn. She gets it out and puts it on her mantle every Christmas.

Report cards, Iowa Basic Skills Test scores, things I made in grade school art class, a poem I wrote for my dad on his 36th birthday with all the n’s backwards, five or six other poems I wrote in grade school.

This is one of my favorites. A square of white construction paper with a circular blue piece of construction paper glued to it, on which is written (in first grade printing) “send Pete to space”. Pete is my older brother.

And I saved some stuff from middle & high school. From a slumber party at Lori’s house where we did the “blood brothers” thing and also smeared our blood on a piece of paper. The paper was then burned and the ashes put in an envelope for safe-keeping. I still have it and will take it to my 25th HS reunion this summer if I go. I think that was the plan.

Oh yeah…my bed pillow that I’ve used ever since I can remember.

I’m going to have to get that box out now and see what else is in there. I haven’t looked in a long time.