Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bye Bye Baby (Stuff)

Today, I tackled a chore I've been putting off for many years - "dealing with" all the kids' old clothes. I have never parted with anything they've ever worn; as the outgrow items, I boxed them up and added them to the pile. In part, we were saving them in case we had another child, and, of course, boxing them up was the quickest option. And finally, I don't think I've been ready to say goodbye to babyhood . . . until now.

I'm the first to admit . . . birthdays have always made me sad. And seeing how "big" my kids look when they're sleeping brings a tear to my eye. So it shouldn't surprise me at all that I've had a hard time parting with baby items in the past. I've made three attempts at sorting through clothes that have all ended the same way - with everything shoved back in the box and hauled to the garage.

But this time was different. First, I've been spurred on by a major decluttering kick lately. I single-handedly cleaned out the garage last month (and usually I reserve all garage-related tasks for Jim), emptying out 19 boxes of "stuff" to either donate or put to good use again. I've shelved holiday decorations, boxed and labeled all our old photos and mementos and trashed old office files we no longer need.

And then there were "the boxes". 12 of them, to be exact. 12 boxes containing the clothes that represented all my memories as a mother.

I'm happy to report that the 12 boxes have turned into 2. One is filled with favorite outfits we'll And to my surprise, the task was much easier than expected. There were no tears, no pangs of sadness. As I picked up each item, I knew instantly whether it was one we'd save or one I was ready to pass along. Somehow, I felt silly for hanging onto them for this long. But I think today was just the right day.

Things have been changing recently. Today, I looked up to see my "baby girl" sitting on the couch telling a story - clearly no longer a baby. But I wasn't sad. I was excited. My "baby boy" is about to start first grade, but again, I am thrilled - not teary. Seeing babyhood slip away doesn't scare me any more. I enjoyed it - loved it - but I am ready for the next chapter.

I guess that in the back of my mind, I always knew those clothes were more than just clothes. But even though I had no use for them, I wasn't ready to part with what they represented. For so long, being a "new mom" was how I defined myself . . . saying goodbye to babyhood left me trying to figure out "what now?" for myself.

But now that I've done away with the old, I'm ready for the new - all the wonderful, unknown exciting things that are yet to come - for me as a mom . . . and as more. After I wipe away the tears, that is.

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