As I flipped through a Target flier today, I was amazed at the incredible array of toys children have these days. If I were still 5 years old, I think I would've really become Princess Cat and shrieked -- I want everything NOW! Hmph!
But I spent my early years in China and it was poor. I clearly remember all the toys I had -- a pink plastic tea set, a set of colored blocks, a doll with early female pattern baldness cuz Baby Cat had pulled its hair out -- and those were it. We had to use our imagination to play, to make the most out of the limited resources we had. We'd build castles, homes, palaces with the blocks. Then my sister and I would draw the princesses with their puffy dresses and empresses in their imperial gowns.
We had to proactively create fun for ourselves. If we get tired of playing with the blocks or tea sets, we had to come up with another way to play. We didn't have the option of discarding them and tell our parents to buy new toys. In a way, I am glad we didn't. Because when you have so little, you actually start to take the time to appreciate things. If I had all the toys at my disposal, the pink tea set would probably be lying somewhere in the bottom of a huge toy bin and forgotten. But instead, I see a little Chinese girl sitting in the corner of the room with her pals, sipping tea with their little pink tea cups.