Last month I broke out my hockey card collection and the boys are still enamored with it as they turn the pages and stare at the 40 yr old pieces of cardboard.

My parents aren’t ‘hoarders’ per se, but they sure hang on to a lot of things. And I love it. When my boys were born, my mother went into her attic and pull out boxes of Fisher Price toys and Matchbox cars. The same classic toys I had played with as a toddler and young kid, my boys enjoy every time they go to Nana’s house.

Old Matchbox cars

Just before my grandmother passed away, she distributed boxes to each of us. In it were all the letters we had written her thanking her for Christmas gifts. There were random photos, and trinkets, and mementos.

This summer, when Zacharie went to visit his Nan for a few days before school started, another wondrous old find was uncovered – my Halloween costume from when I was a young boy. A leopard / jaguar / cheetah costume that my grandmother had sewed. I wore it when I was 8 and 9 and, this Halloween, my son donned the 40 yr old costume, the tail a bit frayed, the zipper a bit tight, but the seams still in tact and it fit perfectly.

My grandmother and mother have taught me the joy of hoarding.

My wife and I have a few buckets in the basement with favorite baby and infant outfits and toys they’ve grown out of but we want to keep for our own grandchildren. I have shoe boxes in my office where I collect their letters to Santa, locks of hair, and other odd bits of the life they are building.

It’s not a lot, but it’s enough.  It’s enough to bring back a flood of warm memories. It’s enough to bring a smile to their face and mine.

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