Friday, August 20, 2010

Divesting; or, Requiem for a Chair

Picture it: Bellingham, winter 2003. A hugely pregnant me navigates the aisles of Toys R Us with my mom, in search of a gliding rocker for my nursery. We've already been to three furniture stores and the cost of their gliders has nearly made me go into premature labor. This one, simple, creamy, and (best of all) AFFORDABLE goes home with us. Over the next seven years I log hour upon hour in this chair: nursing, snuggling, reading, or simply perching, watching Mr D and then Miss E play. If only these things came with odometers; I've surely glided hundreds of miles, front-to-back, back-to-front.

Today it went home with another soon-to-be mama. One who didn't mind the rip in the cushion, and talked with her mom about what color fabric would look good for slipcovers. One who'll also have a winter baby. I told her it was a good chair for nursing, and that the back is tall enough that when you fall asleep with the baby in your arms you don't hurt your neck. As I spoke I could see in a flash the exact view--crib, changing table, CD player, door--I saw for so many hours when Mr. D was an infant.

This summer has been one of divestiture: co-sleeper, breast pump, jogging stroller, crib, bike trailer, hiking backpack--all craigslisted or passed on to other families. Bag upon bag of books, toys, and clothing has gone to Goodwill or to consignment stores. It feels wonderful to see empty space in the garage where once STUFF was.

It's melancholy, though, to realize that my kids don't need that stuff any more; that they can sit on the couch and tear through Calvin and Hobbes (as Mr. D's been doing all day) or ride with training wheels all the way to the neighborhood park (as Miss E did last week). The stuff of infancy and early childhood is rightfully moving on to new kids and families; I love being able to bless others with the objects that greased the wheels of our family machine for the last seven years.

And with each object moving on, there is more space for the next phase, the next project; big kid bikes, tools, art supplies, camping gear. I hope we remember, though, the peace of fewer things, of more space, of ROOM.

1 comment:

*Michelle* said...

Bitter sweet, isn't it? Enjoy the comparative freedom that comes with older kids, too. I'm still in the thick of it with an almost 5 yo (getting there!) and a 2 yo (not even close to getting there!). :) I was glad to be gone with the breast pump and changing table and exersaucer and stroller and etc, however. Life marches on.