With this joyful decision and simple procedure behind us, we decided to plan a just celebration:
A Garage Sale.
We cleared out the basement of things piled high, the items that had been hibernating 'until we needed them again.' This past weekend, we sorted them all, priced them fairly, and lined the driveway with these beauties. We prayed for sunshine and for customers. Both arrived promptly on Saturday morning.
(Fear not, fellow sentimental parents: I did not dare part with the favorite blankets, homemade treasures, and special outfits that will belong to only me forever. Those are sticking around.) I felt just fine about all of these decisions and their varying degrees of permanence.
Just fine, I tell you.
Until I watched from our bedroom window (a safe and important distance for my heart) as strangers loaded these belongings into their vehicles. The baby gates. The high chair. The Boppy. The crib. The Exersaucer. The swing(s). The stroller(s). The carseat(s).
Oh, my. I did not plan on this wave of emotions.
I was flooded with memories from the season when we collected each of those things. With joyful anticipation, we scouted Babies R Us and certainly garage sales all over town, accumulating the treasures we needed most for the next life stage. I remember bringing them home, setting them up, and delighting in the tangible proof that someone new would live here soon. I remember staring at, caressing, organizing, and straightening everything again and again, with dreams in my head of the sweet babies who held my heart.
Babies who are now little boys. And growing fast, I might add.
I'm not typically sentimental over new life stages. I haven't yet grieved anything new or the passing of what is over. By and large, I practice the philosophy of doing this well and embracing what's next. But suddenly, that was all talk. Just as I began to worry about all these permanent decisions (and miles too late on so many of them), I recognized this familiar tug.
Wait. I know this feeling.
I felt the same way when my first car was towed away, my faithful companion through marching band practice, football games, McDonald's runs, and countless high school antics.
I felt the same way when the buyer of our first home told me all the simple changes she planned to make once she moved in. When all of her changes were direct offenses to the decisions we had made when we bought the house and made it our own. Our first house was about to become hers.
I felt the same way when we traded in our Honda Accord for a Honda Odyssey. That four-door sedan had driven us from Ohio to Colorado, to everyday of my first years of teaching... and we left it behind at the dealership, because our new minivan suited our next life stage.
The 'things' do not hold the memories, but by golly, they sure are benchmarks for the journey.
So I stood in the window, and reminded myself:
We don't need those things. We simply don't need them. And that young couple really looks like they do, she with her growing middle and he with his eager checkbook. Enjoy my treasures, young families. They served us well in that precious season. It's your turn now. Take them, and be blessed.
By the end of the morning, we had pocketed more than we had hoped from the sale, and every penny belongs to our upcoming trip to Cancun, Mexico for our tenth wedding anniversary this summer. From our profits, we plan to treat ourselves to massages on the beach. When I'm lying on the beach, holding a fruity drink, reading a good book, and enjoying ten years with this man I would say yes to all over again, I don't think I'll feel so sad about selling baby furniture.
(But I may still wish we had kept the bassinette.)