Whenever I feel the need to thin out the boys’ rather substantial toy collection, I must admit that my first “victims” tend to be the stuffed animals. No offense, of course. They’re adorable and snuggly and are often souvenirs from trips or cute add-ons to gifts. But they often consume much space and are largely neglected. Of course, the boys have their favorites–Oscar’s Ossie and Chester
and Edgar’s Dream Horse and Wife–
but the rest of them make only the occsional, short-lived, or modest appearance, and because they are so numerous are seldom missed.
But yesterday I was reminded not to act so fast where these little fuzzy friends are concerned. Oscar brought a few out of retirement and created a family.
From left to right, we have the turtle, who is the mother; the monkey as the baby; Snufflupagus as the father; and the lion as the older son, who was adopted by his family years ago. Oscar’s creation of and play with this family proved to me that not only has he been taking in the wonders of his and Edgar’s adoption stories but also the nurturing that has been his and his brother’s reality.
Parents always hope that the lessons they teach, the values they instill, and the love that they provide are recognized and internalized by their children. And I am grateful that in my quest to reduce what I viewed as superflous toys I didn’t remove from their collection what would ultimately provide me with the seeds of proof.
Don’t worry, Turtle, Monkey, Snufflupagus, and Lion–you’re not leaving anytime soon!