The boxes sat in my parents' garage for nearly two decades; the dust collecting; the items inside unchanged. My mom and I saved quite a few things from my childhood. Much of which was boxed up as I grew older and no longer needed it or when I moved away to college.
When my husband and I bought our first house, my dad decided it was time I take everything that had once been mine. That meant several boxes, many of which went from my parents' garage into my own, the boxes unopened. It wasn't until we moved them yet again, from the old house to the new, that my husband and I decided to go through them. It was time to decide what to keep.
If I believed in destiny, I would say it was fate that kept us from going through the boxes sooner. We likely would have thrown out a lot of my old toys, dolls and stuffed animals, paper dolls, and games. That would have been before Mouse. Now, we hold onto the items in case she shows an interest in them. Maybe one day she will. If not, we can decide what to keep and throw away then.
A couple of my boxes in my parents' garage escaped notice for years. My mother found them earlier this year and brought them with her on her last visit. Old sweatshirts and t-shirts from high school, quite a few Camp Fire camp and choir t-shirts. A couple of photos from my show choir days. A prayer plate that used to hang on the wall of my room. An old picket sign I used when helping my mom during a teacher's strike. My Cabbage Patch dolls and three only-for-looking-at-dolls. A model airplane (an F-16) I'd put together when I was a child, a truck made out of redwood, a Rubik's cube. Doll clothes and clothes I'd once worn. My first bra. And books. Books I'd read in middle school and into high school. Some of the books I remembered. Many I did not.
Among my finds in that box, was a framed poem, "If" for Girls by J.P. McEnvoy (inspired by Rudyard Kipling), that I had hung on the wall of my room when I was growing up. As I held it in my hands, with its yellowing paper and faded green border, I read the poem and remembered. It had given me strength when I was young. I turned the frame over and noticed the inscription on the back. There were two. I read the bottom one first. The poem had been given to me when when I was ten years old by my grandmother. My eyes went to the inscription on top. The same poem, in that same frame, had been given to my grandmother when she was 19 years old, in 1939. Tears filled my eyes. And I hugged that poem to my heart. One day there will be a third inscription on that old frame when I give it to my daughter.