Baby Steps Towards the Future

standard April 9, 2012 3 responses

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.

Big Sister meets Baby at hospital for first time
July 31, 2007. A million years ago.

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3 responses

  • I know what you mean about seeing them as they are now. It’s been a long while since we decided to stop having babies, but when we moved 2 years ago, I was apprehensive because I’d rocked my babies in that house, watched them pass all those milestones. In this house, I really do see them in the future. I see them growing and maturing. So interesting.

  • Beautiful. I just love the way you shared this. I knew I was done after our last child and gratefully handed things off when we moved to our current house with a 2, 4, 6 and 10 year old. Now 4 years later I’m finally catching up to the fact that I no longer need to mop the floors for sneaky toddler fingers, that there are no naptimes, no more middle of the night cuddles (usually). It’s different. It’s harder in some ways, but I agree with you-I see who they are becoming and will be-not who they were.

  • I love this. We are done with our 2 boys and I can’t get rid of stuff fast enough. We don’t have a garage though so that might have something to do with it!

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