Dear hubby and I have been married nearly fourteen years, and in that time we have made many moves. Most of those moves transpired before we were blessed with our brood. It was just the two of us with what seemed like a lot of stuff back then. Our stuff fit on one half of a truck, and now I fear it would take nearly two to get us out of here. Little did I know how much a family of five can accumulate. Why must such little persons require so many things and such bulky things at that?
We made seven moves in our first eight years of marriage: From our alma mater in Clemson, SC to the beautiful Blue Ridge in Asheville, NC, only to be sent where the armadillos roam and the fried green tomatoes are a staple in Americus, GA, then back to Asheville, NC but it was just another tease of a year (someday we’ll hang our hats there forever - I’m fairly certain it’s our heaven), from there it was time to buy a snowplow as we trudged through the snow belt near Buffalo (the armpit of New York state - I have more stories from this place than any other), and then it was off to Hartland, WI where everything seemed greener in Spring, everything had cheese or butter on top, everything was served with or made with beer - yum, and after two+ years of trying to conceive our #1 was born, and four months later we returned to the Carolinas - Greenwood, SC where our #2 was born eighteen months later...It is hard to fathom that we landed in our little moonshining town near Raleigh, NC SIX years ago when our #2 was a mere four months old. She just turned six, and our home is approaching her age. It’s the first new home we’ve ever had.
Since landing here, we’ve planted so many deep roots and can’t find a reason to leave, although we have had more opportunities to do so than my two hands can count. We love it, our kids love it, and we even added a kiddo and more baby stuff nearly two years ago and somehow made space for him in this stuffy home. Now we are purging just for the sake of making space. It’s cathartic.
Everything seems to pile up, and we have been purging it: Papers from school, mail, toys that are no longer age appropriate, broken toys, clothes the kids have outgrown, clothes we can’t and probably shouldn’t try to fit into, junk, stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Our garage has become much less of a nightmare. The baby toys and necessities have recently been sifted through and either sold or donated. I parted with things that I never thought I could. including the glider that I rocked all three of my sweet babies in. It wasn’t being used, it was sitting in a corner, and it was taking up space - space that could easily accommodate some bulky toy for a while until the toddler outgrows that, too, I realize we are lucky to have bulky toys, and I can only hope our children realize that, too.
I met the lady who bought the glider near a Pizza Hut, jammed it into the back seat and trunk of her car, and nearly lost it. I was emotional, sad to see it go, and she could see it all over my face. She was kind enough to hug me, tell me I “blessed a new family” with that “beautiful chair” and even stated that she’d soon send me a photo of herself rocking her first grandson in it that chair. Her words made my day. They made the parting with the chair so much easier. After all, I can always keep the memories that were made in it. Seeing the staff person’s glad face at the domestic violence shelter as I carried in a like new baby swing, exersaucer, and a van load of other items I didn’t have the patience or time to consign or host a yard sale for with my three kids in tow, also made the parting so much easier as she explained they were housing a new mother in need and her baby. I was blessed by others to have those items given to me when I was pregnant, and it was a blessing to be able to pass them on to people that need and will appreciate them the way we did.
To say it’s been a bittersweet time - this acceptance period of no more babies in this home - is an understatement. It’s hard to grapple with aging and the notion that your babies are no longer babies. It’s hard to accept it. I write about it all the time, because this writing - this blog - is my therapy. Just tonight I tickled my youngest who’s nearly two-years-old just to hear him laugh and to tell him to stop growing, because I want to just wish I could hear that giggle for the rest of his life. That giggle can brighten anything. It’s amazing, and sadly it cannot be bottled. His body and little determined mind won’t listen to me; they won’t stop growing.
Today the kids and I discovered that their beta fish had become a floater after over a year of living with us. It was a sad day for Joey. He was our second beta fish in this home. The first lived for over three years and earned a proper burial alongside Mr. Crab, the hermit crab, that was a creepy escape artist who made it maybe a year after coming home with us from Wrightsville Beach. We put Joey, the second beta, in a box and had intentions to bury him, but of course, the bipolar North Carolina weather put its foot down and unleashed a torrential rainstorm this afternoon leaving us indoors and this poor fish on the porch in a jewelry box. The kids told dear hubby all about it when he came home. Dear hubby suggested this, “Hey, we could give him a burial at sea.”
The kids asked dear hubby how we could do that, and he replied, “We could flush him in the potty out to sea.” A collective, “NOOOO!!!” resounded from our big kids as in their view that was not a proper way to dispose of (AKA lay to rest) their fish that they claim I didn’t take care of. To be clear here I was the only person feeding that fish, and in his year with us I don’t recall anyone else ever washing his bowl of a home or treating his water. We will not be purging him. We will sadly part with him. We will not get a replacement beta as that beta would be one more thing in this house of things.
Tomorrow we will part with Joey. Tomorrow I will prepare for more stuff to be moved into this house as a few new pieces of furniture arrive that we purchased with the idea of streamlining things around here. That streamlining has led to this chain of purging and parting. It’s a vicious cycle. and it’s seemingly neverending. Tomorrow is another day. I thank Scarlett O'Hara for sharing her mantra with me.