July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
In the battle between pack rats and purgers, I fall somewhere in the middle. Sure, I hold onto things a little too long – almost always for sentimental reasons – and there are certain things I’m certain never to part with. However, when I feel the time is right, I do get to work and get rid of the stuff – but not without pausing to say goodbye. My girls are enjoying a few weeks of camp this month, and I’m using the downtime without my favorite companions and usual school commitments to clean up and organize my house. My biggest challenge: to downsize our toys and part with the rest of the baby gear.
I have loved all the precious little girl things that filled our house for the last 10 years; I had so much fun with the baby gadgets, carefully choosing and loving our Baby Bjorn carrier, Morigeau Lepine nursery furniture and Jacadi Paris crib bedding. We created so many memories with the girls and their favorite toys like the ride-on pink racing car and stuffed lamb rocker and dollhouse. Giving away the baby things takes time for me because it’s hard not to take the loss personally, to feel like I’m losing a bit of my girls’ childhoods. But I know that we can’t keep the things forever, and time moves on regardless.
I used to wonder why my mom let me get rid of some of my favorite toys like my Strawberry Shortcake or Barbie dolls (I sold most of my old playthings to make money for new obsessions). I asked her the question, and she said, “because you wanted to.” As a kid I think I had it right; children don’t dwell on the past, but live in the present and look to the future. Now I try to do the same and think like my younger self. Because holding onto the past and the old stuff doesn’t make my babies little again. There are some of my girls’ things I don’t think I’ll ever be able to part with like the Madeline and Madame Alexander dolls and some of the their beautiful clothes, which I plan to make into quilts. Some of the goodbyes have been tragic – like my treasured Mountain Buggy double stroller, which we took on countless family adventures. But time marches on, and a garage once filled with strollers and car seats and wagons has given way to a garage filled with scooters and bicycles and skis.
So this week, as I’ve pieced through our house and purged the stuff we no longer need or use, I’ve enjoyed the time spent remembering all the joy we’ve had with our things. No one in the house is sad to see the annoyingly loud Lucky Ducky game go, but I’m a little emotional at the loss of Candy Land and Pretty Pretty Princess. And parting with the Disney Princess castle, which has been replaced by the Harry Potter Lego castle, is bittersweet. Goodbye Fisher Price Little People and My Little Ponies and Groovy Girls – I will never forget you. As each stage of my children’s lives pass (and all the stuff that comes with it), I will remember what perfect babies they were, what amazing girls they are now and what unbelievable women I know they will become. That makes me excited and happy to look to the future!