Over the weekend the boys and I picked our way through the mess we like to refer to as “the basement” and created a pile of gentled-not-used-anymore toys to donate.
I like to give to the FreeStore in Over-the-Rhine because it serves people in our city’s poorest neighborhood. Like the name implies, people in need can walk in and take what they need at no cost.
As we drive up Liberty to the store, the streets are filled with residents enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures. A policeman directs us to pull behind some orange cones to unload.
“Not that!” F. cries. “I like that!” The “that” is a plastic garage that’s taking up precious real estate in our playroom.
“Remember how we talked about giving toys we don’t play with to kids who didn’t have as many toys as us?” People are filing out of the store pushing half-full carts.
I want the boys to learn that while they might not have everything they want they have enough. They also have a lot more than other people.
“I want you to look around,” I tell the boys as we circle back towards the expressway between graffiti-covered buildings.
“Some families who live around here might need food. Others might need clothes.”
“Lots of kids who live here might not get any presents for Christmas,” I quickly add, “except the one from Santa.”
“Boys, what do you think?”
“If I lived here I’d ask Santa for a pepperoni pizza,” A. says. I want to ask if that’s because it’s food that’s fun to play with.
I hope the child who gets the plastic garage enjoys it as much as a slice of pizza.