Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wish Lists

When catalogs come in the mail, I throw them away without looking at them. My reason, is to throw them away before my children see them. I have the mindset "out of sight out of mind." I prefer my children not know what they are missing rather than look through a catalog and tell me every birthday theme they want next, what American Girl doll accessory they'd like, and what party supplies we just have to have for the next party.

I surprised myself while going through the mail the other day and upon seeing the Toys-R-Us Toy Extravaganza, handed it to Joshua to look through.

Joshua, sitting at the kitchen counter, excitedly placed the toy magazine on top of the new Friend Magazine that had previously thrilled him.

I watched him with baited breath, assuming choruses of "I want... I want... I want..." were going to start. Joshua never said anything once about wanting anything. Instead, all I heard were things like, "That's cool." or "Oh! Look at that!" Occasionally I heard a grunt sounding laugh at something that humored him.

Instead of moving from my mail sorting chore to dinner prep chores, I found myself standing in front of Joshua, staring at his enthusiastic, un-desiring response to the Toys-R-Us Christmas mailing. I saw only dollar signs as Joshua leafed through the pages, but I was quite certain Joshua only saw in his little mind hours of enjoyment and play as he imagined ownership of particular items.

The reason I felt so certain of Joshua's imaginations, was because as I stood there watching him, I was taken back to the days of thumbing through catalogs myself. Specifically, the Argos Catalogue. I remember finding all sorts of items I dreamed of owning. I pictured myself rolling down the streets on roller boots and sitting at my bedroom desk in front of a three-fold mirror.

(I never received roller boots, because apparently my dad was convinced they would make me break my ankle, but that three-fold mirror was one of the highlights of my Christmas morning as a 12 year old. And all credit for it must surely go to my mother... She probably would have bought the roller boots too, if my dad hadn't been so vocal about them first.)

Despite still having issues, never receiving roller boots, I realized as I stood watching Joshua peruse the toy catalog the other day, it never hurt me to look through a catalog filled with more items than I could possibly ever receive or own. It likely won't hurt my children either.

Perhaps I will no longer stand by my garbage can while sorting the mail. Perhaps I will no longer be in such a hurry to dispose of various catalogs before my children lay eyes on them. If that Toys-R-Us catalog had ended up in the garbage can immediately the other evening, I would have missed out on observing, a joyous moment of pure childhood glee coming from Joshua.

Hooray for childlike wonder.


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