One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was playing with Hot Wheels™, Matchbox™ and other types of small cars.
That tire case above is full of cars, trucks, tanks, planes and helicopters that was well loved, a lot of times in the bathtub. I would often grab that case and the Sears Service Center case pictured and play in the family room of my parents’ home.
We had red, shag carpet for a long time in that room, so playing with the cars on the floor caused me to pretend that I was driving through the jungle or high grass.
If you can tell from the picture, I had a few airplanes as well. I guess I was a child of the Cold War, but only the last remnants of it. It’s not like I had to do “Duck and Cover” drills in school or anything. But we had Rambo, G.I. Joe, Rocky IV, Reagan and Gorbachev – we knew the Russians were our enemy. I flew those planes all over the house. My imagination and those metal vehicles took me places.
These items have been sitting in my closet for the last year. My parents hadn’t thrown them out so when I discovered them at their house, I brought them to mine where they’ve stayed ever since.
And now they’re gone, donated to Goodwill.
The one thing that caught me off guard about my old, tired cars and sets was the reaction of my oldest daughter. She took them off to her room to play with them for awhile until it was time for them to go. The cars no longer provided value to me, but she’s definitely interested.
So I promised her we would get her a new set eventually. What she doesn’t know is that my eventually comes with a catch: we have to get the room she shares with her sister under control first.
We’ll get there. Baby steps. But first, the parents need to lead the way. Then we can go find some cars that add value to her childhood.