Summer Toys. Winter Toys.

It has been past time for quite a while.  Finally on a not so rainy day last week I decided the time had come.  Cody was at school and since it was a Friday, Carter was home all day with me.  Carter was excited by the news and even wanted to help.  I did not know until later why.

Carter immediately got distracted from the work at hand by a huge semi circle of pinecones around one of the tall evergreens by our driveway.  He grabbed his rake.  The chipmunk, angered that someone would disturb his masterpiece pinecone mosaic, chucked the occasional woody fruit down upon Carter’s little blond head.

Raking pinecone collage

While Carter raked and leapt merrily about so as to be a more difficult direct hit for the chipmunk, I started filling a large tub with the colorful plastic reminders of a summer gone by; beach shovels, stomp rockets, water guns, gliders, bubble wands.  I was ruthless when it came to throwing away the broken and unwanted.

When I had worked my way across the lawn to the lilac bush adorned with small pails to catch rain water, pinwheels to catch the wind, and other random toys hung there for reasons beyond my comprehension, Carter came running over.  No, momma!  Not our secret office toys! 

For the past several months the lilac bush, aka their secret office, had been one of their most played in places.  Next to the lilac tall lilies and Dixie wood ferns towered making it a great place for little boys to hide and whisper and giggle.  Carter did not want their carefully planned out play area violated.  I explained to him again that it was time to put the summer toys away.  I distracted him with a Frisbee plucked from the branches of their secret office.  He was easily distracted.

Frisbee face

We played Frisbee for a long time then he helped me dismantle their secret office and take the toys into the garage where they would dry off and be stored away until next summer.  It was as we were driving the bikes into the garage that he piped up.  He jumped repeatedly into the air and every time his feet touched the ground he spoke; Now (bounce) do (bounce) we (bounce) get (bounce) to (bounce) take (bounce) out (bounce) the (bounce) winter (bounce) toys (bounce, bounce)?

Apparently he thought that somewhere tucked away in the garage or under the house there were toys to be take out and scattered around the yard for the winter season.  He looked up at me, eyes shining with the excitement of a four year old boy about to be given a whole slew of new toys.  I tried to let him down easy.  I told him that in the winter it was cold and wet and that it was not much fun to play outside.  He was sad.  I asked him if it would make him feel better if the soccer goal and the Frisbees remained out until it snowed and he said that it would.

Soccer goal and Frisbee

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
This entry was posted in The Great Outdoors and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Summer Toys. Winter Toys.

  1. You perfectly captured the moment – and the pictures are adorable. Great compromise to leave the net and the frisbee out just a bit longer! Those four-year old boy eyes have a way of melting our hearts!

    • shoes says:

      He was just so eager to see what fun winter things I had in store for him, leaving out the Frisbee and soccer goal really didn’t seem like enough. Poor kiddo!

  2. It seems like a reasonable thing to hope for. Very cute.

    • shoes says:

      I suppose I could put the sleds out in the yard to get rained on – that is as close as it gets to outside winter toys around here. Unless you count umbrellas, which now that I think about it, Carter probably does. 🙂

  3. christiana83 says:

    Aww! Poor Carter! I love the “secret office…” Haha we used to do stuff like that as kids, too, and my mom necer understood why we didn’t want her to put everything away. We spent hours or days setting it up this way, like, duuuh!

    • shoes says:

      They have secret offices, secret lairs, secret hideouts, secret forts – all so very secret. 😉 It was a bit tragic to take down all their toys from the lilac bush that they had spend so much time putting up. And you can bet each toy had a function and a secret purpose. Ah, what a spoil sport am I!

  4. Oh my goodness…I love that the lilac bush is their secret office!!

  5. Aww, the poor soul. I have to admit, I was right there with him expecting winter toys! I was curious what they were going to be 🙂

    • shoes says:

      Sorry to let both you and Carter down. Where we live we usually get some snow in the winter but not always and sometimes not enough to do anything really fun with. Maybe I need to bust out with the board games that have been collecting dust in the closet and proclaim them to be winter toys of the indoor variety. Would that make you feel any better? 🙂

  6. Jodi says:

    Awe sweet boy, winters are for sleds, ice skates, snow boards, snow shoes, did you not take all those out? Remind him of hot chocolate and cookies. 🙂

    • shoes says:

      Of all those things we only have sleds and typically we have to drive to a mountain to use them. Last year we did get enough snow to sled down the big hill right by out house though so there is hope.

      I will remind him of hot chocolate and cookies as he is a great fan of both these things.

  7. I love the innocence of this post. A mother, a little boy and gentle kindness. It’s the everyday moments isn’t it that life is built upon? Hugs, Sharon

    • shoes says:

      Sometimes it is hard to really listen to what your child is saying and realize the importance behind it. To him, the taking down of their secret office toys was very upsetting. I am glad I took the time to hear him and find a good compromise.

      And you are so right in that the little everyday moments are really and truly what it is all about.

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