09/08/2011 05:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Toy Dolls

So what were a large rabbit doll and some smaller stuffed animals doing sitting outside a New York day care center? Well, let me tell you the story.

There is, perhaps, no greater joy than being a parent. And most parents want desperately to keep their children in the nest -- yet time flies by too quickly. Inevitably, children become teenagers. For many parents that means changing roles from "best bud" to ATM machine.

During our daughter's early childhood we collected dozens of dolls. Some were gifts from friends, others we purchased. These dolls ranged from a large stuffed rabbit to a slew of "Beanie Babies." The Beanie Babies were always soft and colorful. They were relatively expensive but each brought great joy to our daughter.

Of course, a child's attention span is very short. And one day's favorite doll would soon be shoved aside for the next fascinating or lovable little creature. As the early years flew by more and more dolls found themselves the victims of inattention. What could we do with this mounting body count? We certainly did not want to toss the dolls away because each one carried a special memory or meaning.

Consequently, most of the dolls were relegated to storage bins. For sure this would mean a dark and desolate existence in the basement. A few lucky dolls found themselves stuffed on a shelf overlooking the playroom. But no one paid much attention to them for years.

However, several dolls ironically got some overdue attention due to Hurricane Irene. Because Hurricane Irene threatened New York City with record rains and high winds it became necessary to batten down the hatches and remove all objects to higher ground. After the storm passed it was time to put everything back.

But what about the dolls? Certainly some little child would love to have many of these delightful creatures? Regretfully, most places won't accept used toys. Given all the young children and parents who live in the neighborhood, it seemed to be a good idea to place them in an open bag outside our house. Maybe they would be "adopted."

About an hour after putting the dolls on display two young ladies from Denmark, perhaps college students, stopped by and ultimately saved the day. They decided to do all they could to make sure the furry little creatures found a loving home. We discussed various options with them, and then I remembered there was a child's day care center on the next block. They agreed to take them there and then walked off with the two bags. But when they got to the day care center they decided to showcase the dolls on windows and railings at the entrance of the facility. They wanted to really surprise the children!

The dolls waited outside undisturbed all night. Passersby were amused by the site. Some took pictures with their phones. Even the most cynical and jaded New Yorkers mustered a smile.

When the children arrived the next morning all of the dolls were there to greet them. What a joyous surprise! The kids were so thrilled they decided to adopt the whole lot of them.

Later that morning a sign expressing gratitude was posted on the railing of the day care center. It was a happy ending, and the beginning of a new chapter for some lucky toy dolls.