I'm trying to declutter the house. We have accumulated an enormous amount of stuff & things. My basement looks like an overstocked daycare center and it's time to do something about it. My kids, being 9 and 12, probably don't need their exersaucer anymore. Or their Duplos. Or their changing table.
Okay, so I like to hold onto things. I had become attached to their babyhood items and it's hard to let go because it's like letting go of their younger childhoods. I'm not really good at goodbyes.
But seriously, you should see my basement. So I've been making myself go through things and thin out the toy graveyard in hopes of actually having usable space again. Enter Craigslist.
I've used it before and always with good results. I rather prefer eBay but to get rid of larger items that I wouldn't be able to ship, it's Craigslist. So I recently put up an ad to sell the Little Tikes table and chair set that have been collecting dust for a couple years. A woman answered the ad and came to pick up the set yesterday. While perusing the overwhelming junk heap, she spotted an old toy mailbox and said she'd like that as well so she can "send" her little girl letters. Very cute. I told her, I used to do the same thing with my son. I'd write him love letters and draw him pictures so that when he'd open his mailbox, he'd have some mail. I still do have the letters.
"Oh that makes me want to cry," she said. Another Mom who laments the growing-up of her children.
But then I remembered again, how, in the words of Billy Joel, "the good old days weren't always good and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems." While it's so easy to remember the baby days so fondly, conjuring up vivid memories of snuggly babies and Johnson's-scented hair, little onesies, and the awkward gait of a toddler, it's also easy to forget how intensely stressful those days were.
My sweet Aspie boy kept us hopping 24-7, almost literally. Requiring very little sleep, he rejected bedtimes and spent long hours awake and keeping us awake as well. Then rising extremely early. With his multitude of sensory aversions and preferences, things had to be "just so" which often had me exasperated and confused. Going anywhere was a challenge, as we didn't know how he'd cope, react, or accept a new situation. We had to be prepared for anything, which meant packing as if we were going to the moon, even for something as simple as a trip to the store or lunch at a restaurant. Throw in the extremes of emotion, the demanding demeanor, and the massive meltdowns, and you've got a day-in-the-life of Bub, circa 1998-2008ish.
Don't get me wrong, I adore my boy. It was just difficult. We did have plenty of loving, peaceful, and dare I say "normal" times as well. They were just kind of rare. It was an intense time. He required a lot and there were times when I wasn't sure I had anything left to give. There were times when I thought, "He'd be better off with a different mother. I can't do this."
But the little toys and the tiny clothes in my basement don't come with all those memories, they just evoke "baby." And baby is sooo sweet.
Guess what's even sweeter...
Happy boy. Emotionally stable boy. 12 year old with a smile on his face and the ability to sleep well every night, get his homework done with no help, deal with his sensory issues in a rational manner. A boy who has learned to share enjoyment, give affection, compliment others, establish friendships.
The good old baby days are gone, but today is even better. I can only imagine how great his future is going to be!