letting go

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!

time for play

June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Today was finally the last day of school for my girlies. Because of our crazy snow week in January, we had a lot of make-up days tacked on to the end of our regular school calendar. But we made it, and everyone is so excited – especially me! I have missed my girls and love that special summer time when we get to spend our days playing together. I realize how fast time is going and, though I can’t believe that they are already 10 and 8, I intend to soak up every moment I get with them.

As a little end of school/start of summer present, I gave my girls each a kendama this morning tied up with ribbon and a note that said: “Welcome to Summer, I’ve been waiting for you. Love, Mom.” If you don’t know, a kendama is a Japanese toy – a fancy cup and ball-type game – and it’s all the rage. Like yoyos and jump ropes and cat’s cradles, these kendamas make me smile and remember the joy of just being a kid. So this summer, that’s what I’m going to enjoy and celebrate: even though it’s going fast, for now, my girls are still kids, and they’ve got lots of playtime in front of them.

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