First I let some baby clothes go. But to a friend, so they could come back if we ever needed them. Then it was a stroller, a bouncy seat, a swing. I worked my way through the garage, making mental notes of all the baby accessories we had accumulated over the years.
Those friends filled their car with stuff and went home to plan for their new arrival.
A week later I got wind of a young teacher expecting her first child in March, who basically had nothing yet for her baby. I invited her over to come shop in the garage too.
A friend of a friend… it felt safe, not too remote, like I might still one day get something back if I ever needed it.
That girl loaded up her car twice with baby things. A mini crib, another stroller, a bouncy seat, bedding, toys, an exersaucer. The list went on and on, her gratitude fueling my generosity. It was easy to let these things go, easy to imagine this adorable young mom putting them to good use.
Amazing as it sounds, that wasn’t all the baby stuff we had. We still have clothes. Still have bouncy seats and toys. There’s another crib, a changing table/dresser, another stroller. We moved these things, took them out of our old garage and put them in the new, much smaller one, where they are taking up so much more space that I ever realized.
This last month we’ve made baby steps towards getting settled in our new home and in our new community. We’re unpacking boxes, finding homes for our things. We’re taking walks, discovering nearby parks. We’re driving around, exploring local restaurants.
With every item I put away, with every excursion we take, it’s starting to feel more definite, more permanent.
Our last home was where we started our family, where we welcomed new babies, where we washed them in the sink, rocked them in their room, paced the hall when they cried. It was our starter home.
In our last home it was always so easy to imagine bringing home another baby, watching first steps, hearing first words. Here, everyone seems bigger, more grown-up already, like we left all the baby-ness behind when we moved.
This home feels like the place where we’re growing into being a family of four, just a family of four. It fits the four of us perfectly. The specter of the girls’ infancy doesn’t haunt me at every turn. I can finally see them as they are today, not as they were back then.
This past month, C learned to ride her bike without training wheels, this past weekend Little L did the same. C is already reading, Little L is hot on her heels, sounding out words, picking up sight words astonishingly fast. These girls, they are big, they are not babies. They have moved on from that phase of their lives.
On Saturday I spent the day in the garage making a list of everything in there that really didn’t need to be in there. In my head I started making plans for the big yard sale where I’ll be selling everything extraneous. These things will go to stranger’s homes, they will go without a hope of me ever seeing them again. The crib. The changing table. The last two bouncy seats. The pack-n-play. The last stroller.
This year the girls have made massive bounding leaps out of babyhood and into childhood. I’m only just now starting to make baby steps out of the world where I’m mom to babies and into a world where that’s part of my past.
|July 31, 2007. A million years ago.|