Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Letting go of the stuff

You won't be surprised to hear that I saw someone today who told me they "always read my blog." So, as usual, that inspired me to come back.

Why? I think it's because I don't feel like writing unless I believe someone cares. Otherwise, it just feels narcissistic and self-absorbed.

We had a charity pick-up today. It was at least five bags of toys and clothes, plus a regular stroller, double stroller, potty seat, and more.

And that's not all: Last month I was able to pass some things along to other families in town. Mostly big things: the air hockey table, the indoor plastic slide, the dollhouse, the car garage, the leap pad cartridges. That was fun because I think the girls enjoyed actually seeing the kids who were inheriting their toys. (However, I did not trust Benjamin to feel the same way, and managed to do most of this without him seeing it.)

It felt great to be cleaning out. And, amazingly, our house feels far from empty. But it was also bittersweet.

This morning, as I hauled everything out, I thought of all the times I took the girls to the library or Target in the double stroller. I used that stroller a lot. But I have no one to put in it now. My two smallest kids are four and seven.

I remembered when my health was not so good, and how many afternoons I set up a three year old Rebecca on the floor next to my bed with the little toy barn while I lay in bed and hoped I could somehow gather the energy just to finish getting through the day.

I thought of the year we opened all the Christmas gifts in January because Rachael had been in the PICU for weeks.

And I saw some of the toys that people brought Rachael after she finally came home from the hospital, when she was on medication and had a PICC-line in her arm, and was basically house-bound for a few weeks.

I remembered how my kids never actually wanted to "play" Candy Land, but rather just wanted to me to read them the story on the box, then pretend that their pieces were running to Candy Land and eating all the candy.

I remembered how Rebecca came to me at about 3:00 am on Christmas morning -- a different Christmas -- and said, "Santa put a dollhouse next to the tree!" and then climbed in bed next to me and fell asleep.

So. It was good to let go. But it was hard to let go.