I love getting rid of stuff. An odd statement I know, but the time has come to purge some kids items.
Since we have made the decision that four children is plenty, we have begun to pare down the baby belongings. And now that we no longer “have one in the hopper” or “maybe one more” as a discussion point, we can officially get rid of things as they are outgrown or no longer practical.
I have waited for this moment for seven years. No more playpens on the basement shelves, no boxes bursting with clothes each labeled carefully with its correct age range. The rattles and plastic chain links can now bring a smile to someone else’s baby.
Last weekend we were preparing our first batch of kid wares for an upcoming consignment sale, and the experience was quite different than I had imagined it would be.
As we went through the clothes, the memories flowed. We priced a pair of boys size 6 month khaki shorts, and I recalled the photos of my oldest son wearing them on Lake Michigan and my youngest son beaming from the infant swing at the park.
We priced the bug-adorned overalls that my oldest was wearing the time we had to call poison control…twice.
When we came to my daughter’s bassinet, I became sad. It was time to move her to her crib, I realized. Then it became clear that things were different. I felt an unfamiliar twinge. No, not regret. Just more of a feeling of finality.
With my daughter moving from bassinet to crib, an era ends. From now on, each stage passed, each developmental milestone reached will be our last as parents. As she outgrows her Bumbo, we will say goodbye to the times when our kids were still infants…immobile and learning the basics. Eventually, she will outgrow her exersaucer, learning to walk instead, and we will say goodbye to the age when the kids have to hold our fingers to walk. Each time we mark another item for consignment, it will mean that a chapter has ended.
But with that twinge of finality also comes the twinge of excitement. I look forward to the new times ahead. Those fun times yet to be had, developmental milestones we have yet to reach. The playpens, Boppies, and bibs will be replaced by dollhouses, bats, skateboards, and more.
Each age brings its challenges, and we are ready to meet each of them (the exception being puberty, my kids are far too close in age to pretend that anything good can come from that).
Of course, not before we get rid of some of this crap.
Chris Donnelly is married with four children. You can read him every Thursday on momaha.com
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