Level Two. Do I have to?
Level Two – Do I have to?
By Michelle Lloyd.
We all have our favourite objects, but at some point we may have to replace them or even throw them out… this was the dreaded statement that had been made, quite a few times and on each occasion a certain possession would be singled out for this kind of terrible treatment, or so thought Little Herbert. It was exactly what happened before the threat was made to Mr Ted the teddy bear and he was about to be thrown out, it did not matter that he was missing an arm, his leg had been chewed off by his friend’s dog on one visit to his bedroom or that despite a wash the bear was more grey than bear coloured…he mattered to Little Herbert, he had a right to be in his bedroom, sat up on his bed and what would it look like if his position should be left empty? This was what Little Herbert had to know and his dad’s half hearted explanation of it would make the room look tidier just did not sit well with him.
The dreaded statement had been made again, something was about to be threatened in the bedroom and this was how Little Herbert’s dad had left him to contemplate things…and as he swept his eyeline over his room, he looked lovingly at all his much loved toys, books, games and he knew in his heart that he could remember exactly how he had got each of those possessions. The problem with what his dad had said was that Little Herbert could not let anything go, he had memories about them, he loved them and he could not understand why he should have to do a declutter, as his dad called it.
Later that day Little Herbert was asked if he had made a decision about the board game he never played anymore or how about the inflatable ball that had a puncture in it? Could any of those be removed from his room? Little Herbert sat thoughtfully for a while, he tried to decide on their fate…he contemplated them being out of his room, he attempted to visualise his bedroom without them and before he could stop himself he had answered firmly with a no. He could hear himself reminding his dad about the day trip when they got him that ball and that it didn’t matter that it had sustained a rip in it, he started to make excuses to his dad, saying things he didn’t really mean and that he was sure he could find a use for that out of action ball and that maybe they could play that board game next time his friends came over. His dad gave him an unconvinced look.
That day Little Herbert’s friends did visit and they all played happily for ages and no attempt was made to get out the old, worn ball from the top of the cupboard. When Little Herbert’s dad came in and tried to discreetly remove the punctured ball, all three pairs of eyes followed his every movement. Little Herbert tried to keep calm, he pretended as if it did not matter but at the final second he had to throw all that effort aside and off he went to stand in front of the doorway. The ball was not leaving the room.
Little Herbert’s dad sounded a bit apologetic and slightly impatient as he explained that at some point old belongings had to go. Little Herbert had heard it all before and he would not give in. He stood his ground. Little Herbert’s dad did not look to be in a giving up mood and he tried again to tell him why he had to let some of his objects go…in the end he had to point out that it was getting difficult to move about in his bedroom and it could be a health and safety issue. Little Herbert was quick to respond that he could get around just fine thank you. R V and New One, who had until then been watching the exchange between father and son, had to agree that getting about in their friend’s room was slightly like getting over an assault course. At first Little Herbert looked distraught at his friends’ admission but when he thought about it he knew that they would never have said anything unless it was a real problem…and hadn’t he himself stubbed his toe several times on those old games that were sticking out from under his bed.
Sad expression set, Little Herbert tried to think about letting some of his belongings go and he had to ask his dad did he have to? New One and R V could see how much everything in the bedroom meant to their friend and they gathered around him to do what they could. As a trio they set about looking at the objects that he never used anymore, the stuff they knew no longer could be used and even though they put those specific reminders of the past in a container, it didn’t mean they had to get rid of the memories they had about them. Little Herbert found that once he started it was not half as bad as he thought it was going to be and the three friends actually laughed about all the memories they had about some of his out dated objects. Before he knew it, Little Herbert’s bedroom had been cleaned of nearly every unneeded object and the room seemed double the size it had been when they had started. Little Herbert’s dad was astounded when he came in to see how they had done and all the additional room did seem awfully appealing to the three friends. Far from being a bad thing to do, Little Herbert found that in a declutter he gained an awful lot. A certain promise made from dad to buy him a few replacements definitely had a good response and there was also a pledge from him not to keep anymore of his broken, unused objects. Little Herbert had learnt that there was a lot of reward in a bit of a tidy up and clean out.