Next steps (after making the new straps): Create a child-sized patchwork quilt from scraps of cloth that my friend in Japan has sent me over the years. Fold some origami symbols of protection and clip them on to the handy rings. Manifest an Ipod Nano from Craigslist or the thrift store and download the sound of ocean waves onto it. Have I forgotten anything?
***Check out Jean-Pierre's comments below - very interesting history of this type of backpack.