My husband recently finished his office space. It was the last frontier of unofficial storage space in our house--all the boxes from our move four years ago have been unpacked and removed.
Well...almost all the boxes. There was one, tucked way into the back, that has been in storage now for almost fifteen years. And it's not an actual box, it's a barrel. A barrel filled with about thirty gowns from my childhood "dress-up" box.
When I was a little girl you couldn't find dress-up clothes at Wal Mart like you do now. My mom worked at growing our collection for many years at garage sales and thrift shops. And these weren't the cheap dresses you find now, these were prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses and wedding dresses. And let me tell you, my sister Andrea and I spent HOURS upon HOURS playing with these gowns.
|My sister, Andrea, on the left and me on the right|
somewhere around 1985. (Old Ladies??) :)
|My cousin, Ryan (now a police officer!), on|
the left and me on the right. Hobos??
Somewhere around 1989
The time came for me to move out of my parents' home and my mom wanted to know what to do with the dresses. I told her to store them until I had a house of my own. So when my husband and I bought our first home twelve years ago, the barrel showed up at my front door.
My husband wasn't too excited to store a barrel of dress-up clothes in the house, considering we didn't have any little girls at the time to use them.
But I smiled and batted my eyes, and for twelve years he moved that barrel whenever he needed to reorganize his storage space. Four years ago we moved the barrel with us and it was tucked into the bedroom in the basement that would one day become his office.
Our girls are now ten and eight. I didn't want to pull the gowns out before they were ready, because they're made for teens and adults. But when the office was finished, and the barrel needed to come out, I decided to open it up, clean the gowns and let the girls at them.
It was a blast opening that barrel. A mixture of Christmas mornings and walking down memory lane. There were some in there I had totally forgotten about, but the moment I saw them, I was transported back to summer days with my sister and cousins and friends, and all the wonderful imaginations we had. I was transported back to the basement of my childhood home where my parents constructed a "dress shop" out of sheets hung from the rafters, where my sister and I played one winter, with all our dresses on racks and a "changing room" in one corner.
In those dresses I was a bride, a Southern Belle, a princess, a pioneer on the Oregon Trail, and so much more.
The best moment was watching my own girls discover the wonders of a barrel of make-believe. Already they've spent hours playing in those gowns, and I know they'll enjoy many more years of fun.
What about you? Have you saved something special from your childhood for your children to enjoy? Have you ever stored something, only to rediscover it many years later? What was your favorite toy or activity from your childhood?