This summer, my sister and I decided to check out a local antique boutique.
We strolled through the store, marveling at the vintage jewelry, clothing, pottery, silver sets, fine china sets, and quality furniture pieces. There was a treasure trove of fabulous and exciting finds amidst a mess of ephemera – if one had the time and inclination to look.
I relished looking at all the classic games, puzzles, and dolls. It was wonderful to reminisce about my childhood. I happily clicked pictures of several of these collectibles.
We had almost finished combing through every nook and cranny of the store when I honed in on it. The object that I speak of was a replica of my Vintage Plastic School Days Desk.
The aforementioned desk brought back many fond memories of my early childhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
My precious desk features a steel magnetic chalkboard and comes with magnetic letters, stencils, chalk pieces, and an eraser. The portable lap desk stores all the parts of the educational toy inside.
My parents taught me the alphabet and the basics of reading and writing on this desk. I would trace the letters using the word stencil cards and place the magnetic letters by matching the shapes on the cards. Additionally, I would write the words on the top of the board with chalk.
Coming upon this desk at such an opportune time seemed only fitting since I recently became a writer. I only wished my father were still alive so I could tell him about it.
I was tempted to purchase the desk but resisted doing so. I honestly did not know what good it would do other than indulge my inner child.
My young adult kids were well past the age to enjoy the toy. Undoubtedly, they would do no more than take a quick cursory glance at the desk, and it would likely gather dust at home.
The desk, however, reminded me of the Tom Thumb metal cash register I was gifted for my fourth birthday from my parents. I had been coveting it for months. When it was finally presented to me, I was so elated that I would not let it out of my sight.
I have a family picture where the aforementioned cash register sits front and center on my lap. It is incredible what we used to love as kids.
Later, I googled both the desk and the cash register and found them on eBay. Was it the toys themselves that I yearned for, or was it the fond memories associated with the desk and the cash register?
The vintage toys made me nostalgic for my simple idyllic childhood growing up in a small university town in the 1970s when life was so different from the high-tech world we live in now.
Nowadays, parents do not feel comfortable letting their children play alone outdoors for fear that something will happen or their children will be abducted.
My best childhood memories involved meeting my neighborhood friends and playing outdoors unsupervised. We did not have the technology we have today, so we found playing indoors dull.
We tossed a frisbee outdoors during our free time, watched television shows like The Brady Bunch and The Addams Family, and enjoyed the occasional meal at Burger King.
I miss those simple, innocent times. It is so true that the older we get, the more nostalgic we become.
About the author: B.R. Shenoy is a married mother of two. She is a biochemistry and chemical toxicology, M.S. She is a former expat in Brazil, France, and Japan. She is a regular writer for The Good Men Project. Her work has also appeared in Scary Mommy, Positively Positive, and Idle Inks. She is a content creator on Medium and Vocal Media.