The Horse that Came to Stay

28 Nov

I’m a pitcher.  Or whatever the opposite of a hoarder is.  My need to get rid of stuff borders on obsession.  This may come from many years of living in small spaces. Or the fact that most of my life takes place in my head. Or the fact that we live in an old house and are totally deprived of storage space (people apparently didn’t believe in closets at the turn of the last century…) I’m not sure, but I can’t stand accumulating stuff. Having kids throws a wrench in my minimalist philosophy I know, and I’ve come to terms with the amount of stuff that’s involved. But I still try to keep things pared down.

I’ve saved very little from my children’s babyhood.  I think I may have held onto a lovely  pewter porriger they both used, and that’s pretty much it. No little shoes, no locks of hair (the hair thing kind of grosses me out actually). Art work goes straight to recycling. I’m a pro at disappearing stuffed animals Pinochet style,  sneaking into my kids’ rooms when they’re not there and throwing stuff into boxes for the charity thrift shop. Purging gives me a major adrenaline rush I must say.

Anyway, we are are getting ready to do some work on our old farmhouse (I can hardly believe I just wrote that)  which will involve my children sharing a room for a while.  I’m a little apprehensive about the prospect, but thrilled by the opportunity to get rid of some of the bigger items collecting dust. First in line is the train table they never use.  (They actually still play with the wooden trains but like to do it on the floor where they can sprawl). Then there’s the rocking horse. The horse’s name is Boom Boom. It’s a stuffed Pottery Barn rocker that was passed onto us by a friend’s sister when Henry was an infant. Her younger son was four at the time, and when he started rocking standing up, she decided it was time for him to go. Hank loved him as a toddler and called him Boom Boom because I was in the habit of humming the Lone Ranger theme song while he rocked and always threw in a few boom booms.  Coco loved him too, but more, I think, as a objet d’art than as a toy-I don’t recall her doing much rocking.

So Boom Boom has been sitting in Hank’s bedroom (which, because it’s one of the larger spaces in our little house, also functions as a playroom) for six years. No one really plays with him anymore, but he’s kind of a beloved figure in there. (I do sometimes use him as a clothes horse of sorts when I get it together to set out Hank’s clothes for the following day.) When I bring up the idea of getting rid of him, however, both kids go nuts.  I was recently in there clearing out some stuff and contemplating a stealth horse extraction.  Then I looked down at that sweet face, awash in memories from my boy’s toddlerhood, and realized I love him too.  So it looks like Boom Boom will be the treasured toy that gets put in the attic, the moth eaten relic I’ll try to pass on to my grandchildren. The rocking horse is here to stay.  That train table, on the other hand, is history.



One Response to “The Horse that Came to Stay”

  1. Kim December 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Haha-we have the Pottery Barn dog rocker. Sort of looks like a sheepdog. Nick got it when he was 1. It was a fixture in his room until Brett was born and now it watches over Brett who from now and then will jump on him and rock a bit even at 4. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of him! He’ll be around for my grandkids, too. Our train table right now is serving as our Christmas village landscape. Rarely does anyone play trains on it, but it is very useful for other things! I guess I’m more of a hoarder than a pitcher!

Leave a Reply