Tales of a Tireless Mom: Treasures in the Attic

How the disaster that is the attic has can become a magical wonderland of lost toys for kids.


“Mommeee, can we go to the ac-tic tonight?”

Twice in the past week I’ve had to make a trek up to our attic and each time was amazed at how much I detested sorting through the old boxes, bins and dust…and how much the kids absolutely loved it.

The first trip was because our 8th grade neighbor Emma asked to borrow one of Georgia’s baby dolls for a school project.

Since it’s been a while since she’s played with them, Andy headed up the stairs and came down cradling a Baby Dora the Explorer to use. Emma laughed, Georgia acted aloof and Quinn’s eyes became as wide as saucers as he plowed past Andy to see what else was up there.

While weaving through the slalom of junk, old school projects and bags labeled “linens to go to the new house” (woops…we’ve lived here for five years now), we made our way to a large pile of toys in the corner.

Georgia tried on witches hats by the Halloween decorations and
Quinn found a 10-year old Bob the Builder doll that vibrates with his (really noisy) chainsaw and commands, “Measure twice; cut ONCE” every time you look at him.

Obviously, Quinn insisted that Bob spend the night in his room.

The second attic expedition came last night, as I realized that with Quinn’s birthday approaching he would need bigger clothes to wear. Once again, we headed up the stairs to trade in his 2T duds for the ones crammed into the 3T bins.

For Quinn, it was like Christmas.

This time we were on the other side of the attic by the towers of old plastic boxes packed with children’s clothing and as luck would have it, they were right near the Christmas decorations.

Each time I would pull out something that Ben wore years ago, Quinn would ask “Why there a reindeer up here, Mommeee?” or “These Halloween jammies are for ME, Mommeee?” or my personal favorite, “Why it so messy in the ac-tic, Mommeee? Why you makin’ a bigger mess?”

I thought back to the allure of my own parents’ attic when I was a kid. Every so often they would let down the stairs to head up to the dusty area above the garage and my sisters and I would scramble up to have a look around. We’d fawn over “old fashioned baby carriages,” sleds, lawn furniture, and of course, the Christmas decorations.

It was so cool to be able to see these relics of the past that were hidden away, only to be looked at or played with every so often. We even loved the musty smell.

I wonder if that’s how my own kids feel when they see their old toys, party decorations or even just the baby clothes in bins. If it weren’t so messy I’d have half a mind to let the kids up once a week but as we all know, the magic of the attic is that visiting is a special occasion so it’s probably best that the door stay closed.

But if Quinn asks, I’ll tell him that Bob the Builder missed his buddies in the attic so much that he begged to be with them and THAT is why he’s back up there.

Ordering them nonstop, I’m sure, to measure twice and cut once.


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