Thursday, 6 November 2008

A round of applause for my mother

Who I don't imagine will be reading this unless she's suddenly developed an addiction to internet caf├ęs!

I get a lot of messages from people who are looking to re-build their collections after they either "grew up" and chucked out their collections themselves, or as seems to happen rather more often, had their collections ruthlessly downsized by their mothers. As an aside, I do notice that fathers do not appear to do this. Presumably they either a. don't care b. don't notice the house is disappearing under books or c. prefer to leave such tricky decisions to mothers.

I must now say my own mother did not chuck out my pony book collection of immensely tatty paperbacks, and it still survives. Mum nobly held on to it for a good 10 years after I'd left home, asking occasionally through gritted teeth, "Are you sure you can't fit those books in yet?", at which point I would say "NO, I can't possibly - you've got far more space," in that supremely irritating manner I am now beginning to recognise in my own children.




So thanks, Mum. I know I don't say it anywhere near often enough, but I am so grateful you didn't chuck those books out. Just look at what you've created by not doing so - a pony book obsessive who now earns much of her living through them. Perhaps not quite what parental dreams are made of, but still....

And so I did wonder just how many of you out there are now re-building your collections after maternal purges, or indeed, your own. There's a poll up there on the right.

7 comments:

mokey said...

I was the lucky recipient of someone else's teenage "clean out" collection when I was about 9. Luckily I fought Mum off and held on to all of them, and so started my collection of 50's and 60's pony books. Unfortunately the Enid Blyton books ( AND my brothers huge box of Lego )did not fair as well, and were given to my cousins. Three decades later, believe it or not, the Lego was returned.

Liz said...

When I was about 15, my mother told me I had to get rid of all my childhood books. Sp. very reluctantly, I did.

Jane Badger said...

Mokey - I am amazed that the Lego came back. Did you hold onto it once it returned?

Liz - I think that counts as your mother getting rid of it! She might have made you do it, but she was the prime mover.

Gillian said...

My parents tend to stuff things in the attic and leave them there. They also believe that things that belonged to their children, are for their children to dispose of.
After being in the same place to 20 years, they downsized last year and I rummaged through what stuff of mine was still in the attic, 23 years after leaving home. I don't think I have all my childhood pony books, which were mostly Armadas with photo covers. I think I passed them to a friend when I got nice editions.
I do have all my toy horses, dolls and kit, my board games and ornaments which were faithfully kept for when I wanted them. After hearing of other parents clearing treasured toys out without a word of warning ("hurricane Mom"), I've been very grateful to mine.

Bovey Belle said...

I've still got all my pony books, and I'm still adding to them. I'm afraid Ruby Ferguson used to make me grind my teeth though. Monica Edwards with her wonderful Punchbowl and Westling series were always my favourites.

Jane Badger said...

boveybelle - I'm still a Jill fan, though I love Monica Edwards too. What is it about Jill that winds you up?

Bovey Belle said...

I think she struck me as a bit of a prig at times (from distant memory) and her horsey world didn't seem to bear much relation to my horsey world - collected walk everywhere, humph! Perhaps those awful jacket illustrations had something to do with it! I preferred more realistic books such as the Pullein-Thomsons and Monica Edwards.