Toys are time eternal.
They educate us, they amuse and they comfort us from babies to children through to adults.
They are there in our time of need no matter our age. The teddy is the favourite that stands out, the mascot of our youth. You will find that many an adult still has their soft toy. In fact, as I write this my Teddy is watching me now. He doesn’t have a name, he is just Teddy.
Visiting a museum sometime ago I was taken back by an exhibition on toys that pilots used as their mascots to see them safely through a flight. Their toy became their talisman, often their distraction in dark and terrible times. Somehow, situations are not as foreboding if we have a small modicum of comfort with us.
With their toys and their selves in perilous situations, I expect the pilots’ thoughts were of home and getting back safely to their loved ones, perhaps passing on their toy to their children.
Another toy that I have languishing rather sadly in the garage, all sooty and covered in cobwebs (I think a family of spiders may have moved in), is my doll’s house.
It was made by my great granddad for his daughter and after such a time it was passed to me, and the times and fun I had with it were immense. Now, it sits quietly with its 1970s furniture, waiting to be woken from its slumber.
I have no girls. I have only a boy and I couldn’t bear to part with my doll’s house to anyone else. Though after many years I offered the doll’s house to a good friend of mine for her granddaughter, she refused my offer.
My friend turned it down because she said that in time, even though my own son is only just coming up to 16, he may go on to marry and have children of his own and they could be girls.
I hadn’t thought of that eventuality. My husband’s family is mostly boys and my son’s generation could be the one that has girls.
To be loved again, to hear the giggle of laughter, to witness the various real life scenarios being played and acted out – those are what my doll’s house is waiting for.
I could have let my son play with the doll’s house as I have no gender politics on toys. I think it was more about me not wanting to let my childhood go. But I know I must. After all toys are for playing with, let them sing their song.