Lately I’ve been hiding things.  I’ve been slowly slipping toys into our basement storage room, wondering if the boys will notice.  (They haven’t yet.) My reason?  Well, the boys don’t play with at least half of the toys we have.  They’d much rather play with leftover wood from Chris’s porch project, big backyard sticks, or a roll of masking tape.   I’ve had this notion of toy sneaking for a while, this notion that maybe stuff really doesn’t bring happiness.  But I haven’t had courage to act.  Questions (and fear…) arose.  Will the boys be bored?   Will they be sad?  Will they even care?  I know the truth from the Bible, but somehow it hadn’t stuck in my heart.  Until now.  I watched our kids receive countless Christmas gifts just weeks ago.  Now they sit dusty and untouched.  The love lasted a few days or a week and then faded.    What did last in their hearts?   Crazy Eights and Spot It! played with family.  The question game at dinner.   Drawing pictures for Bubba and Gammy.   Jumping in pillow pile huge.   Building Lego vehicles way passed regular bedtime.   Popcorn and snuggly time on the living room floor.   Library books scattered on the floor full of pictures and stories.  We don’t need much.  Our kids don’t need much. So why do I buy into this illusion that we do?   Why do I buy more gifts, hope for more stuff?   It makes a mountain over me.  I think that somehow it will satisfy.   Now, though, I’m ready to turn my back on the illusion.

In my toy sneaking process, I’ve tried to keep a short list of toys that our boys do play with most often.  Those toys we will keep, and the others we will give.  And when I browse the internet or Target aisles, I’ll remember.    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…”


One thought on “Illusion

  1. I love this, Anne! I’ve been wondering the same things, and trying to figure out what to do with all the toys in our basement that the boys don’t even remember are there. Christmas this year, too, was robbed a little of its joy for me due to the piles and piles of toys I had to find room for in our house. And honestly, my kids couldn’t care less about them. This week, I’ll take your lead by slowly and stealthily removing things that are just gathering dust. Thanks for the challenge!

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