I wonder which were my Mom’s toys, I need to ask my aunty, because Mom didn’t tell me. I can’t even imagine her toys. I know she liked the fountain in the yard of her house, I know she loved rain and showed us how to play with it, I know she liked plaster, yes, plaster because she loved to repair the walls at home all by herself when I was little, I know she loved Chemistry because she played with us with a special set we got once around Christmas time.
Toys around the house were very useful, we loved to play with a teeny, tiny cinema projector, with a Choo choo train, with a Tinker Toy construction set, or wooden blocks to build anything. I remembered playing Chinese sticks, yoyos, kites, board games, or cards. One of my first memories as a little one was the fact that I love the musical box that scared my sister, because after a good crank, and the music ended, a clown appeared. I never understood why she couldn’t stand it; We played with a whirligig top, one of my favorite toys, also marbles and jacks, a treat for the touch and the eye; I love their shapes.
Mom loved to make her clothes and the cloth leftovers were for us to design dresses for our Barbie’s. We had a huge doll house. I still have my miniature microscope, a mini accordion, and the last chemistry set we played with.
If we wanted percussion instruments, then we could use all the pots in the kitchen and hit them with wooden spoons, we needed to go to a special room at the top of the house, so, in the open heights nobody was distress with our loudness. I think a set of drums was to encourage more noise which was not so desirable.
We had ginormous dolls, bigger than us. I was able to do to mine a special hair cut, so special; that in the end it had bald spots and her curly black hair was history; Mom was not specially happy; nevertheless I love my “Pat the doll” ever since.
We had skates, skateboards, a razor ground force drifter, tricycles, scooters, mini motorcycles, bicycles, and we used them in special parks, designed just for the kids and their toys. These parks had hills and straight paths, curves and sinuous roads for us to enjoy. We loved all the paraphernalia to swim, and snorkel. Even as children, Dad rented for us dive equipment several times in Cozumel and Acapulco.
At home, we were all girls and my Dad. Yep, no boys, and our relatives were almost in the same situation. We were the generation of girls and we wanted to have fun and our parents too. We played with our close cousins, other 4 girls and with us, we were in total the 8 cousins. There were periods of time when we went almost every weekend to picnics, to collect mushrooms, seeds from the trees, follow brooks, hike along the lagoons, and sing all the way inside the car; the eight of us, very loud. The adults, I think they were happy, I should ask. For us it was so much fun. Our cousins sleepover many, many times and we built fond memories and a special fraternal friendship.
In other occasions we spent the weekends in Acapulco. The plan was; get in the car, in the early afternoon, on a Friday; and drive 6 hours, to get to the Acapulco bay at night, around eight or nine P.M. The next morning we had the fastest breakfast ever, orange juice with raw eggs, I know, some of you can arch of disgust or fear, those were the really old times when nothing was contaminated, and the hens, really had happy lives. The oranges were squeezed in front of us and organic was a general understanding.
Why such a fast breakfast from the cart seller on the main boulevard? You see, we went straight to the beach to play in the sand and collect shells, as soon as some time had passed according to Mom’s rule, and for us the eternal waiting; we were allowed to play in the ocean and receive the waves. The waves, the sand, the ocean were our toys. One day I emptied my suitcase and filled it with shells, the most beautiful and diverse, it was my treasure, my bag of toys. The whole day was spent at the beach, we ate fresh fish under gigantic umbrellas made with palm leaves called palapas, drank coconut water, seated on the sand, the whole thing was an act of juggling , you didn’t want to eat sand or drop your food. We didn’t, we were very hungry and we knew how to manage without a single mistake, do not ask me why or how we managed, but we did it. At the end of these Saturdays with glorious sunsets we just went to sleep at the hotel. The next day in the morning we started our way home, and breakfast was in a Tastee-Freez restaurant where Dad asked for a “Piscolabis” blinking an eye to the waitress with the dismay of my older sister because she knew that; that, didn’t exist, and she was afraid Dad was going to ask for the absurd. We all were intrigued every trip until we grow up and caught Daddy’s joke.
Once we received wigs, and fake heels, as our new toys, but we need special attires, Mom’s clothes were handy to play and imagine to be in a great ball. I think those toys didn’t last long, and we noticed, Mom felt relieved somehow.
We had several toy dishes set, and a mini bake oven, but we did not care that much about those toys. We liked to be outside playing with our friends in a quiet and safe street in the suburbs were our house was. We played rope, several sidewalk chalk games; like hopscotch, and spiral. Also, we liked to go around the neighborhood in our bikes or roller skates.
We loved to read, after all the physical activity there were periods of time that our books were our best toys and still are. Toys changed, or were left behind as we started our teen years and then we did more sports than played with toys. The electric guitar, the ping-pong table, the sailboat, the squash racquets, the parties, the bands, the cabin in the forest were new events and ways of enjoyment.
My childhood was full of toys and today I enjoy toys more than ever, grandchildren are a great excuse to start all over again. We, as adults always keep this special ludic trait. This spontaneous playfulness state gave us the wisdom to enjoy life.
A rock, a twig, a puddle will brighten our eyes to look for our next adventure with our all of a sudden toys. Our imagination goes unleashed, maybe because we nurtured this special disposition with the toys around the house.