The stuff of my wife’s childhood is alive and well in the hands of our children, and I’m so jealous.

I tease my wife’s parents for their inability to throw anything away. Their basement is filled with artifacts from decades long since gone. 

And while it’s true that they are a little obsessive when it comes to saving things, I’m also envious of the results.

My children love to go to their grandparents’ house and play with the questionably safe toys from my wife’s childhood. I can’t imagine how it must feel for my wife to be able to watch her kids play with some of her favorite toys from her youth.

A baby blanket from her childhood recently made its way into our home, and even though it’s a simple, pink blanket, our kids love it. When my daughter isn’t snuggling with it, our son is using it to play peek-a-boo.

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The idea that my children are playing with a blanket that my wife once slept under as a child in unfathomable to me.

The only thing I own from my pre-adult life is a stuffed dog resembling Snoopy that I was given on the day I was born. It’s wearing a shirt that I stole from one of my sister’s dolls.

It’s ancient, fragile, and can no longer be played with. It sits atop a dresser in our bedroom alongside a teddy bear that my wife was given as a baby.

The stuffed dog is all I’ve got. The combination of an unexpected divorce, sudden financial ruin, an evil stepfather, the foreclosure of the family home, and a general lack of sentimentality in my parents have left me without treasures from my childhood.

Instead, I watch my children play with my wife’s childhood treasures and try to imagine how that must feel for both her and them.