Before going to Prague, I had read about handmade wooden toys. The shops filled with them is something unique to Prague. I couldn't wait to find you the perfect wooden gift. I love most things old fashioned, & I was enchanted by the thought of you having an old fashioned and unique souvenir. I had a romantic idea of you cherishing your handmade toy & someday passing the toy down to your kids.
When we got to Prague, I was a little bummed. Most of the wooden toys seemed a little young for your age. I could picture you playing with the gift once & then discarding it- definitely not the cherishing I had hoped for. Your daddy is not so enchanted by old fashioned things. He thinks they're just old. He looked at the wooden toys that lined tables of a farmers market, & told me they looked like things you could pick up from the dollar store. Sigh.
So, we didn't come back from Prague with a handmade wooden toy for you, but we did come back with a handmade wooden toy.
It was cold in Prague, similar to winter weather in New England. While we spend most of our winters in New England cozy & warm inside, we wanted to see everything in Prague. We bundled up & headed out. We did a ton of walking. There was one day that my hands & cheeks were so cold, I couldn't feel them anymore. We stepped inside a shop, more to warm up than to shop. As my hands & face tingled with warmth, I looked around the shelves in awe. Most of the items were wooden & handmade. There were shelves & shelves of Matryoshka dolls in all different characters (US presidents & famous actors were fun to look at). On another wall were tons of hand-carved chess sets.
Other than the very basics, I don't know much about chess. I couldn't even remember the last time I sat down to play, but there was something about the beautifully handcrafted sets. I could picture your daddy & I playing together on a Friday night after we'd put you to bed. I could picture us teaching you how to play on that same board. I could picture us handing down the set to you & you passing it down to your kids. As I looked at the set, a whole future with it passed before me (I guess I'm a total romantic). I was giddy with excitement as I purchased a set as your daddy & my souvenir.
We also bought ourselves an ale horn. We've been watching a lot of Game of Thrones, & I was so excited to see that they had ale horns in Prague. It will be more of a novelty item than something we'll really use, but I thought it would be a fun addition to mantown (our basement).
We bought you a pink furry hat (like many of the people we saw in Prague were wearing) & some Kinder Easter chocolates. Not anything you'll cherish forever, but you sure did love them when we unveiled them- especially the chocolates.
Your gifts may not be passed down through generations, but I will always smile when I think of you enjoying your chocolates & looking all cute in your hat...knowing that your mommy & daddy had returned home to you.
I love you so,