Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am trying to plan a spring garage sale.  It's not going that well, mostly because of my irrational attachment to the Rubbermaid bins - not actually the bins, per se, blue and ugly and filling up the tiny amount of attic storage space our house has, but the contents of the bins:  the baby clothes.

Up north a few weeks ago, my sister-in-law and I were discussing their adoption process.  They're waiting (have been waiting for well over a year, now) to add another child to the two daughters they already have, and we were talking about waiting and spacing and boy gear vs. girl gear.  I confessed my attachment to the bins and my sister-in-law laughingly, lovingly said, "Oooh!  Now I sort of want you to have another baby!"

And I said no, no, not going to happen.  I said that we had teetered with it.  I told her the timeline of teetering:  how, after Jemma was born, Jason wanted to go all-in and have a third and I wouldn't even discuss it; how, a year or two later, I began wanting a third, just around the time Jason decided two was just right, thankyouverymuch; how, about a year ago, I thought obsessively about A BABY multiple times every day, assuming that I'd talk Jason into it somehow, even projecting a year ahead and thinking, well, I won't be able to go to this event next year, because I'll probably have a newborn.  I was telling people we were "done" even while I was secretly plotting when I'd start trying to get pregnant again.

Jason came into the kitchen just as I was telling Lisa about the time, six months or so ago, when I laid it all out for Jason, the way I just HAD to do this thing, and the way he said, "You can't handle another one."  Jason heard me tell this, shrugged, smiled.  "It's true," he said, and, sadly, I had to agree.  Our lives (read:  my patience) are at the limit of our ability to parent, live, and run our family the way we want to.  It's not because of money or age or really any single factor, but about the knowledge that we are stretched to our limits much of the time the way we are.

After that painfully honest conversation with Jason, I mourned the baby-that-would-not-be for a few more weeks, and then I gradually stopped thinking about it multiple times a day, and then I noticed that it had been days or weeks since I had actually obsessed over it.  When we were in Jamaica, there was one moment when the four of us were lying on the raft in the sunshine, wet and wiggling and warm from the sunshine, and I felt like all of us were there, like there was a peace in knowing that this was our family forever and ever.

These days, there really isn't a reason to be saving those bins of clothes, stashed haphazardly in the attic next to the bouncy seat, the portable high-chair, the play mat, the teeny-tiny bath towels and socks and swaddling blankets.  The crib bedding, the size four shoes, the 2T yellow duck Halloween costume, the Baby Bjorn:  all these are just taking up space.  It's not like I spend time up there with these things, either.  I don't indulge in melancholy moments of pulling out newborn onesies and smelling them for a trace of baby smell.  I just move them around and swear at them under my breath from time to time when Jemma outgrows something and I have to find a place to pack it away.  They're just things.  So why can't I bring myself to get rid of them?


  1. Well, they are just "things," but they are the things YOUR two kids used. So in a way, you feel like you are getting rid of their babyhood, right? The memories, the stuff. I know. I cried when the people walked down my driveway with Lucy's sold baby crib bumper. And then I took a deep breath and sold the next thing. I haven't missed that damn ultrasaucer since. Oh, and I stuck some things I couldn't bear to part with into a memory box. Who cares? :)

  2. Ah, the bins. Yep, I have the bins, too. And the crib. And the Baby Bjorn. And virtually every single thing I ever used for my children. My only rationale now is that I have a friend who actually needs these things because when she said she was done, she sold everything (like I should have done) and then changed her mind...