We have too many things. Too many toys, books, gadgets, stuff. I spend all my time trying to fit us into this house. Which is a rather large rambling house so I have no excuse.
My neighbor down the street has a pristine house. It is a model of minimalism. She is ruthless. There is nothing old, dog-eared or remotely frivolous in that house. She carts things out by the tray load and closes her door resolutely. I end up tiptoeing over and whisking it away because I can’t bear for perfectly good things to be thrown in the garbage. Which explains why we’ve got dozens of extra cups and mismatched saucers and an array of slightly dented water bottles.
The problem is we still have every toy we’ve ever given our children. I have tried to bring some to charity shops but my kids grab them out of the bags. “No! You can’t take this!” they’ll cry about a toy they haven’t played with for years. “This is my favorite!!!” And they’ll carry the object back to their lairs, its broken face grinning at me smugly over their shoulder.
I get accusing looks from the parents of my children’s friends who come home from playdates at our house overdosed on playthings. “I hear you live in paradise,” they say wryly.
Perhaps, but 90 percent of it doesn’t work. The train set is broken, game parts are missing, doll heads lie scattered about like a horror movie. I suppose you could say everything is strewn across the floor like a minefield of pleasure.
I am looking forward to my children’s teenage years when fun will be had in a compact electronic gadget from which they can download all their fun: ultra violence, porn, terrorist agendas, whatever. Just as long as I get my house back.