Memories for Sale: New Room for My Son & New Life for Us (and My Action Figures) by Mark Stackpole

Parenting Teens
5 months ago
Memories for Sale: New Room for My Son & New Life for Us (and My Action Figures)

A major change in the household this week: my wife is sacrificing her home office so that each of our boys can have his own room. At 14 and 12 respectively, they have shared a bedroom for their entire lives, and we finally reached the point where the sounds of battle and the smell of sweaty socks became too much for us. And then, there was their perfectly understandable desire for some privacy and personal space. So, while it was not quite the same as selling a house and moving away, there was much “life editing” that needed to be done: sell, toss or donate more than a decade’s worth of stuff.

This does not come without a cost to those of us who ostensibly run the household. My wife works from home, and her office will become a 14-year-old’s new room. She and her laptop have become nomads, roaming from place to place in search of peace and quiet, both of which have always been at a premium in our house. But yours truly is also paying a price: the shelves in home office were the last place in the house where I could display my numerous pop-culture collectibles.

Yup, my sons are growing up ... and it is killing my childhood.

I have been a collector for my entire life: action figures, sports autographs, movie posters and anything else that caught my pop-culture fancy. From Star Wars figures in the late 1970s to the recently available Avengers: Endgame figures from a particular fast food restaurant, they were on those shelves. I could have opened a toy store in that office, and my older son has absolutely no interest in having them being a part of his new bedroom motif. It took decades to gather them, but only hours to pack them all away. Even though I am a proud dad and want my son to be comfortable and have his own space in our home, I will not deny that it hurt a little bit. 

My younger son takes after his old man; he likes the same kinds of movies that I do, and he still wanders the toy aisles of major retail stores with me. (“Let’s just see what they have,” he says to me. Wait ... I say that to him.) Of course, he is also gaining his own room due to his brother’s departure. So, at some point in the process, he excuses himself from the packing and goes downstairs. Soon after, we found him downstairs packing up many of his own action figures, collected since he was too young to purchase them for himself.

When he was satisfied with the giant pile in front of him, he asked his mom to take a picture and post it on a local garage sale website. “How much do you think people would pay for all of this stuff?”

So, we have memories for sale.

At $10 per box.

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Donna John
Ha! Love this! My husband had this problem when I started working in the home office (actually, when I moved in period). He had Astros and other sports collectibles all over the place. They have all been moved now to the work office. Woop! lol
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Oh, so many of us can feel your pain, Mark Stackpole ! Great reflection. Good luck and thank you for sharing!

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