From My Childhood To Theirs- Things I Saved For My Kids

by Christine@TheAums on January 11, 2013 · 28 comments

BlogpostTitleI have no problem bagging up clutter for the Goodwill, but every now and again I hesitate and ask myself, “Is this something I should save for my daughter, my son, my kids, my grandkids?”

I’ve always been like this. In fact, because I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a mom, I started saving things early on, such as my baby blanket.

My baby blanket  and I have had many an adventure together. It was my strapless princess dress, my wedding veil, my turban, my skirt, my cape, my ghost costume, my fort, and well, my blanket. There was never a time I wanted to give away my blankie- I brought it to college including a semester in Mexico. I may have stashed it in a drawer here and there but when I was truly down in the dumps, you can bet I busted it out and used it instead of Kleenex to dry my tears.

My blankie is the color of oatmeal which makes sense because it comforts me on the outside the way a bowl of warm oatmeal does on the inside. The waffle weave fabric is so stretchy, soft and broken in, threadbare in some spots with a few holes here and there. I’m told it was once bright pink with a satin ribbon finish. I can’t remember it ever not looking like oatmeal with unfinished edges.

Throughout my childhood, I had a clear vision of one day handing down my baby blanket to my children. Four babies later, it warms my heart to think that each of them was swaddled in it at one point or another. And now that they’re older, they use it to make forts and ghost costumes, capes, skirts, and turbans, wedding veils and princess dresses. It is even more threadbare and broken in. I’m not sure it will survive their childhood but I have a feeling, when the time is right, I’ll fold it and tuck it away in a drawer for safekeeping and another generation.blanketfort

The second thing I saved was one of the best gifts I ever received- an annual subscription to Ranger Rick magazine circa the mid-1980′s. I was an avid reader and loved receiving a fresh Ranger Rick straight out of the mailbox. Sometimes my mom would secretly tuck a newly arrived issue away until a day when I proclaimed infinite boredom. She’d hand it over and I’d curl up on the couch and read it from cover to cover. Then I’d make plans to do the crafts and recipes and carefully cut out pictures for school reports, although I only cut what was absolutely necessary.

I had a cardboard box where I kept my magazine stash and sometimes I’d take them all out and organize them by date. Short of keeping each issue in a protective sleeve, I was very proud of my collection, and again, I vividly remember knowing I’d give them to my kids one day.

I didn’t think about Ranger Rick much until I discovered a current issue while visiting the library. “Wow, they still make these?” I thought with giddy anticipation. But as I flipped through its pages, I just didn’t get the same feeling. In fact, I was a little let down. “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to,” I muttered to myself, officially fast-forwarding the aging process.

I remembered that cardboard box sitting in my childhood closet and had my parents bring it on their next visit. My kids took to Ranger Rick immediately, appreciating the color photos of animals and nature, asking me to read them out loud. As I leafed through them myself, the memories flooded back. I learned to wrap presents to look like animals and made one for my grandpa that resembled a cheetah. I made Halloween crafts from brown paper bags and little forest creatures from collected pine needles, acorns, and moss. I learned about composting and endangered animals. Ranger Rick had a great deal to do with my love and respect of nature.

Watching my kids enjoy the exact same pictures, stories and crafts that I did as a kid is so satisfying. I definitely don’t think these Ranger Ricks will make it to the next generation, but that subscription has more than delivered.RangerRick

Did your parents ever save anything for you? Have you handed something down to your children? Are you tucking something away for another generation?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth January 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Very sweet post. Your Ranger Rick issues remind me of my Highlights issues that I devoured.

My dad still has most of my childhood things in his attic, and it looks like they’re going to stay there unless my boys show a sudden interest in Barbie (with butchered haircuts), My Little Pony (again with butchered haircuts), and Cabbage Patch Dolls (NOT with butchered haircuts).

Actually, knowing my boys, they’d LOVE to play with those things.
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Christine@TheAums January 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I never had a subscription to Highlights…those were strictly dentist magazines. But my kids have High 5 and Highlights subscriptions which we all enjoy. Your boys would definitely love playing with those toys. Break them out and then blog about it ;)


ChristineMarie January 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I cannot believe I actually recognize those Ranger Rick covers! I had them, too! I even did a school art project on a cover that was a tiger. I tried to save my Cabbage Patch Kids, but the container they were in wasn’t closed properly and when I went into the bin, they were moldy. =(

Love this post!
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Christine@TheAums January 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Thank you- I love that you recognize the RR’s! Moldy Cabbage Patch Kids?! Yuk.


michelle @ this little light January 12, 2013 at 6:42 am

I love this post, and I love that you kept your blankie. I never had a lovey as a kid but my son does {a little blue stuffed dog named Bobo} and I wonder who’s more attached to it: him or me!

And “Ranger Rick”!? How did I miss this? I bet my son would LOVE that!
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Christine@TheAums January 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I had a stuffed bunny named Bobo when I was little! And his bunny brother’s name was BooBoo, lol.


adrienne January 12, 2013 at 7:33 am

How funny! We must have been on each other’s blogs at the same time. Those Ranger Rick magazines are awesome. My son would flip! He has a subscription and still gets excited about the mail. I miss snail mail. :)
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Christine@TheAums January 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I wonder if I just picked up a bad issue at the library…may have to revisit the current Ranger Ricks. I loved visiting your blog earlier :)

Reply January 12, 2013 at 7:55 am

Yep. I have a keepsake box in the storage room for each of my kids. I limited it to one box each and included some special items, like their blankies – or what’s left of them. I also included their Awana Grand Prix cars. They labored over those! I did pull out one of the cars the other day for my grandkids to play with. They had a great time with it. I also saved their homeschool yearbooks – especially the one with the cover design that my son created.

Actually I think my daughter took her box when she got married. My son’s is still down there. It’ll probably stay there for a while longer. He’s married now but I’m not sure he cares about his keepsake box. I’ll keep it until the right time.

Visiting from SITS.

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Christine@TheAums January 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm

You just reminded me that I saved each of my kids’ first outfits in a box somewhere. I should make each of them their own box. Thanks for visiting!


misssrobin January 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

I have some books from my childhood that my kids love. And I have several things from my grandmother that I’ve shared with my kids. My kids are 14-22 now so I’m occasionally packing away the things that were their favorites for the day I’m a grandma. My oldest is already easily soothed by nostalgia, like watching movies from her toddler days. I imagine pulling these things out for grandkids is going to be as wonderful for my kids as it will be for me.

Thanks for sharing. Your story is beautiful. And you’re right, those old Ranger Rick’s are classics. How fun that you still have them.

Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
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Christine@TheAums January 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Thank you! I enjoyed writing and reminiscing, and now I like reading what others have saved. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


Frances January 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I have two things I want to pass down but only one is actually from my childhood and that is the bear my dad gave me when I was about 6 and I carried every where! I admit to getting teary eyed when the Monster rolls around with him :*)
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Christine@TheAums January 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Too cute! There’s a couple of stuffed animals I wish I still had around.


Kristen Daukas January 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I was going to start this comment by saying my mother didn’t save jack for me but then I realized that somewhere in this house, there’s a box with not one but TWO of my baby blankets. Being a ’68 model, they didn’t know the sex of the baby so my great-grandmother made my mom two blankets.. one is pink and the other is blue. Now I have to find them.. it’s my mission.
Happy SITS day!
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Christine@TheAums January 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Thanks for stopping by and sharing that. I hope you find them!


Tracey @ Dont Mess with Mama January 14, 2013 at 9:21 am

I’ve always been a big purger and we moved around a lot, so kept just a teddy bear from my childhood. But I do like to show it to them – and of course, I have tons of photos that I share too. I’m much better about keeping things from their childhood so they can share with their kids – from their hospitals wristbands to their first outfits from the hospital to artwork in school. I think it’s great you were able to share those Rick Ranger magazines. My kids love Highlights and I was just thinking about getting them a subscription.
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Christine@TheAums January 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

High 5 (they younger version) and Highlights are popular around here. I love seeing my 8 year old engrossed a newly arrived Highlights. I must have a hard time tossing/recycling magazines because I have taken apart all our old High 5′s and made separate binders to use for homeschooling, such as poetry, recipes, Spanish, etc.


Aleta January 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm

RANGER RICK!! NO WAY!! I used to love those, how cool that you have them!

My parents saved tons of baby pictures, but that’s about it. With a baby on the way, I think more and more about saving things for him, but I don’t know where to start. You are giving me ideas :)
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Christine@TheAums January 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Yup…these Ranger Ricks have come a long way! Get a shoebox ready- once he’s born, you’ll want to save all kinds of things. And they really do enjoy looking through those boxes every once in a while and hearing stories about when they were babies.


Janice January 20, 2013 at 12:46 am

That’s a pretty cool story about your blanket. And seeing your children enjoy the same magazines/photos that you did when you were their age must be pretty awesome too. I don’t think my parents really saved me anything. You know I haven’t even seen any of my baby pictures because they’re in the Philippines. Anywho, I’ve never really thought about saving something of mine for my kids. Maybe I should, huh?
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Christine@TheAums January 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Janice, are you kidding? You are saving so many memories with all your digiscrapping. They will be stoked one day and appreciate all your efforts.


christine January 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

The only thing from my childhood that my kids use is a Disney book of about 30 stories. It has my name and address in my 8 year old handwriting, and I checked off the stories as I read them.
For my kids, I have a few items of clothing that all five boys have worn, especially an Indians jacket that even my daughter wore. I have the one and only baby quilt I made by hand that each of them peed, spit-up, and slept on. I just wish I would have made sure to have pictures of all of them in these clothes so I could put them in a collage/shadow box.
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Christine@TheAums January 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I bet they love knowing you read that same book as a kid…how cute, with your name and checkmarks! I think I did that with my Little Golden Books that had the long list of books on the back. And I definitely filled out all the “This book belongs to” sections.


christine January 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Heavens, I got all into writing what I saved that I forgot to say how impressed I am that you saved that blanket and the magazines. What a wonderful heirloom you have in that blanket.
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Jessica January 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

This is such a sweet post! And, I remember Ranger Rick!! My mom saved lots of childhood books that I used to write. It’s funny and touching to see my doodles and my name written on the cover. I know that I was a child once, but seeing parts from my childhood, things I touched and loved, makes it all the more real for me.
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Christine@TheAums January 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Thanks, Jessica. It is pretty wild to hold something and flash back to being a kid.


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