Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Vintage Sticker Collection

I’m a sucker for vintage, especially when it’s something straight from my childhood.  I’m transported to the past, to a time I wish I hadn’t grown so fast from. If I would have met Peter Pan, I would have followed him anywhere.

Some of my favorite things as a child were my stuffed animals. I also enjoyed my Fisher Price little people play sets. I would lose myself in play as I acted out daily life with these little friends.  I had favorite story books, puzzles, trinkets and even clothes. Because of the internet, and my great love for flea markets, I’ve been able to collect several treasures I remember as a child.

But there was one treasure I was never able to find or the price on the internet was always out of reach.  I wasn’t always the best student so when I got a sticker on my homework, I was thrilled. The best stickers were the ones you scratched and sniffed.  I loved those and coveted them. At recess we would trade our stickers like baseball cards. Thankfully our teachers bought different kinds. At home I would carefully scratch my stickers and let the aroma of root beer or bubblegum fill my nostrils.  I was careful not to rub the image all up, though they would eventually end up that way.  Sadly they all disappeared one day after mom cleaned my room.  The teachers in Jr. High stopped passing out stickers so all I had were the memories.

Just this week, and out of the blue, my mom sent me a little package in the mail. I opened it in a frenzy, not sure what she had sent me. You can only imagine the thrill I got when I dumped sheet after sheet after sheet of these vintage scratch and sniff stickers in mint condition! Many identical to the ones I remember as a girl! Many I wanted but didn’t get that 100% on my spelling test. The memories flooded back. I was seven years old again. I had pigtails and bell bottom jeans. My kitten’s name was Ashes and my best friend was Pat Parker.

What might be garbage to one person can be a treasure to the next. I’m grateful for those parents who didn’t throw their children’s things away. I’m grateful that they tucked their children’s toys in closets and attics and kept them safe from mice and dust, acting as sentinels to precious memories. I’m grateful for those who can’t throw anything away. Because of them, I can relive my childhood. Because of them, I have scratch and sniff stickers again.  Thanks, Mom!