It seems like such a damn cliche, but it’s the truth. Kids grow so freakin’ fast. I can hardly keep up with our little bean. Clean out drawers and closet, pack in boxes, re-stock dresser and closet with new stuff; repeat. There is a huge stack of bins in the basement with labels that commemorate each of Ella’s growth spurts–clothes and toys.
For the last few weeks, I have been in the process of clearing out her winter things and too-small clothes. I have come across some other things that need to go too, and it makes me kind of sad. She has about a zillion bibs that no longer fit her. I also found old lap pads, baby spoons, little blankets, and the toys that we used to hang from her car seat. It was really hard for me to put all of these into a box (labeled misc. baby stuff) and add them to the stack in the basement. I can handle the clothes, but all the other stuff is hard for me to let go of. I can still “feel” when my belly would jump when she had hiccups before she was even born.
We are also in the process of weening her off her binky during nap time. She’s 18 months old and it’s time to start being a big girl… Or is it? Initially, I was pretty anti-binky, but babies use them and they made her happy for so long. She’s down to one nap a day now because my pediatrician told me that big girls only take one. Maybe I’m not ready for her to be a big girl, lady!
This morning I unstrapped her high chair from the kitchen chair. It was filthy, as was the chair, and I thought I’d clean up both of them. I saw that the straps had carved little welts into the chair. The old me, pre-mom me, would have flipped over that. Furniture ruined? Oh no, not in my house! I looked at Derek and told him that it was time to get a booster and place mat for her so that she could ditch the tray and join us at the table now. It’s time, I said. I cleaned up the chair and put the high chair in a pile with all the other stuff I need to bring to the basement. I looked at the welts on the chair. It’s a memory. I have no intention of replacing that chair anytime soon. Those marks encapsulate the time when my baby was a baby.
The pile in the basement grows every month. And I know that if (when) Derek and I have another baby, the stacks will be rifled through and re-adjusted. I know that going through those boxes again will catch me up in other moments of nostalgia. I’ve always been a person that loves (I mean, LOVES) to purge things regularly. But this time it’s different. I never got it before why people’s garages and basements were so full of kid junk. Sure, some people are lazy. But I bet a lot of them have a hard time of letting that stuff go. Each collection of junk is chock full of memories of their children’s milestones. It’s hard to let that go because you never get them back. Life when you’re raising a child goes really fast and if you don’t take a lot of pictures or have a great memory, that stuff slips away from you. Raising a child is the most important, trying, and satisfying endeavor anyone could ever take on, so why would you want to let those memories slip?
We want for our children to grow and be independent people. In my opinion, other than filling my life with joy, that is the major point and reason of being a parent. But the independence freaks me out a little. One day, my little nugget won’t need me. I know it is eons away, and won’t truly happen. She’ll always need me in some way. But I can already see it happening. She is a headstrong, independent little girl–just like her momma!
I’m not going to fight it.. The baby spoons and tiny bibs are going bye-bye. I need to clear out room for her to collect her next round of memories and milestones. I just hope that I can keep my head clear so that I file all of them and hang on to them for the rest of my days ❤