Toddler P got her first proper bike the other day, it was such a fun and special moment. A proper bike, pedals, stabilisers and a basked on the handle bars. I was flung back to 1989 when Poppa M ran the length and breadth of our street and driveway pushing me on mine until I got the balance and could ride “on me own-self.”
The thing is though, this bike is extra special, it’s not just any bike. Someone very special gave us it, it’s a hand me down bike from Aunty K who’s little girl learnt to ride on it 20 years ago. It’s in fantastic condition and like new. We’re very lucky because that history and those memories it’s unlocked for someone important to use add an extra piece of magic. It’s like the gift comes with this extra bit of love. That’s the beauty of hand me down things for your children, they’re not just a practical gift, there’s something magic about them, like a little bit of love, happiness and their family essence comes with them.
Ooh I’m an old soppy romantic aren’t I? It’s true though! I’ve received so many hand me down items and have also passed on so much of toddler P’s to some many others and there’s more than just the passing on and recycling of items that are in practically new condition. There’s a great pleasure and reminiscence of seeing my friend’s babies enjoying my baby’s things. Like that part of my motherhood and memories of my not-so-little, little girl are still alive.
I think there was a time when handy me down things were looked down upon, forgive me if I’m wrong but it’s just a perception I have, as though it was a poor thing. Like I said I maybe wrong and I’m not judging, I grew up in hand me downs and it did me the world of good-taught me to appreciate and value you things and people’s kindness and generosity. However, I’m certain now it’s seen as a good thing as the preloved webpages and groups share items prevent waste and landfill. But when you get a hand me down gift, remember that someone isn’t just giving you a coat, pair of funky trainers or a new bike, their giving you a little piece of their times with their little ones.
I’ve loved the generosity of my friends and family with items they’ve passed on to me and little P. They’ve saved me a fortune in time and money and also made life a lot easier. Now it’s not always that easy or straight forward to return the favour when your child is the younger one, so instead I pay it forward (great film with Kevin Spacey if you’ve not seen it) passing things still in good condition on to other friends and their babies or to charity. So not only does a little piece of who gave it to me go with it, but a little bit of me and toddler P too. It’s a bit like Toy Story 3 when Andy’s grown up and the toys go on to be played with by the little girl at the end (what a tear jerker).
So thank you for the bike or whatever else, we like making new memories out of your things and passing them on.