When Wes gave me the new nightstands, we were using a packing box with a tablecloth thrown over it on his side of the bed as a table. It was less than ideal, but it was a temporary solution. Anyway, in that box was all the stuff that had come out of my cedar chest when we moved 1 1/2 years ago. I decided to put all of it back in my cedar chest today, and dug into the box after lunch.
Much of my "stuff" is baby stuff from each of our kids. I came across Samuel's "PaPa", which is a stuffed Precious Moments doll that my mother made for him when he was a baby. I taught him that it came from Grandmama and Papa, and the "papa" part stuck in his baby mind. PaPa is now soiled and a little lumpy, but he was well-loved by a little boy at one time.
Next was Beth's "Babby" - her bitty girl pronunciation of Baby. This is one ugly doll! It was handmade by my Granny, originally for Andrew. It's actually a clown made from a sock, with a dark blue and red outfit on, a crooked red-cloth mouth, and button eyes. It once wore a cocky little hat of the same blue and red fabric. At the same time that Granny made the clown for Andrew, she made a sock monkey for Beth. Somehow, they each decided that they liked the other's doll better, so they traded. Beth carried Babby around everywhere she went, even to church and to bed, tucked into the crook of her left arm. Andrew slept every night with Sock Monkey, and carried him around by his middle all day long.
Today, Babby is quite the sight. Her one button eye is gone; she is stained and lumpy, strangely sagging in the middle, where she hung from Beth's arm. Sock Monkey hasn't fared very well either: he lumps where he should be smooth, and he's smooth where he should lump. His tail is split and the cotton is coming out. All three kids now think that these toys are ugly, but I think they're beautiful. They're all reminders of people that I love - the givers and the recipients - and they are symbolic of my bigger-than-me children when they were just little bitty fellas. That season of my life is over, but today I once again saw my little ones running down the hall or in their beds asleep with their beloved dollies, so sweet and precious. I think I'll hang on to PaPa and Sock Monkey and Babby. To the casual observer, they might be ratty old discarded toys, but to me . . . they're priceless treasures.