What my dad did was lame, and I was mad about it for a while, but people do stupid things during a divorce. He was moving to Toronto, and didn’t want to lug all the stuff I was too old for, anyway. Plus I had a whole other room of toys and crap at my mom’s house. The worst part of that ordeal was that he told me to pack all my stuff to be moved to Canada with us, but then he would just take my carefully packed garbage bags (this choice of packing containers should have given me a clue, but I’d never really moved before) and put them on the curb.
One of the things about only children; our stuff is our only company for a lot of childhood. If, like me, a kid spends a lot of time alone in a seriously deep fantasy about the interpersonal relationships between her red hotwheels car and her Gak and her stuffed duck, then they come to have a lot of meaning to the kid. True of almost any kid, but I think only children like me have a little more focus on our transference objects than siblings might.
Anyway, my mother, in a brilliant blaze of heroism that I will always recall with fondness, drove down from 2 hours away after my weepy call, and loaded as much stuff as she could into her little car to rescue it from the trash!
But now when my dad is reminiscing about my childhood and goes, “Remember that toy/stuffie/book? What happened to that?” I can politely remind him that he threw it out along with all the other reminders of my childhood. Fair warning, parents, look out for hubris!