Yesterday, I had a bit of a Toy Story moment.
You know, the bit right at the end of the third movie when Andy’s about to move off to college?
*Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it* Andy drops by to a family friend’s house and gives his toys to their young daughter. He does this because he’s all grown up now and figures the toys would be better off with a new owner who will play with them – instead of gathering dust in his toy box.
This was the motive for me donating a few of my smallest soft toys to my friend Dave, who leaves for a three-year overseas adventure today. His first stop is Cambodia, where he and some touring buddies are going to visit a Cambodian orphanage and give the kids some toys and sporting equipment to brighten their lives.
Those of you who know me and have visited my home in Melbourne would know I still have a pretty massive soft toy collection which I collected during my youth (I was an only child, what could you expect?). I still pick up a toy occasionally if I see something unique on my travels too – last year I picked up a Cookie Muncher at a cookie shop in Queenstown, a kiwi on a spring after bungee jumping of Kawarau Bridge, and another panda at Adelaide Zoo.
However, by my own admission, the majority of the toys just sit in massive piles in my bedroom and my study – and I pay them hardly any attention these days. And although I made a pledge when I was younger to never give away any of my toys and put them in some giant exhibition or museum one day, the thought of following in Andy’s footsteps and giving some of them a new loving home in another country seemed like a mature one and a decent opportunity to start the inevitable ‘cull’.
So, I went into my study, found a collection of small animals in a basket (a few of which came from Happy Meals at Maccas), gave them one last hug, whacked them in a bag and gave them to Dave when we caught up for lunch yesterday. He’s promising to send me a few pics of the Cambodian kids with the toys, so I’ll share those on here once I get them.
In a way I felt bad, because I pretty much singled these toys out as ‘the ones I can live without’. Even though they’re just made of fluff and have no trace of human life in them whatsoever, after seeing the Toy Story trilogy and having such a connection with the movies, I sometimes imagine that they (the toys) have their own feelings and thoughts too.
But you’ve gotta move on one day, and I still have plenty of my favourite toys hanging around in my room. So I’m glad to have farewelled some of them and have Dave pass them onto the Cambodian kids, because I know they will brighten their lives when they have so little to their name. It’s also cleaned up a bit of floor space in my study, which is great because it needs a gigantic cleanout!
Heck, I can live without all of my soft toys – and I have plenty of typical 24-year-old activities and interests (work, partying, girls, travel etc.) that occupy my time these days.
But they represent my childhood, which was such a fun and memorable time in my life – and contribute to my personality as well. And for that, I’m proud to still have them hanging around and occupying floor space in my room.