I’m a purger.
I can hardly go a week without finding something to pass along to someone else, give to the Salvation Army, throw away or recycle or otherwise dispose of. This is probably a good thing because once, while we were moving from our condo in Oak Park to our current house, I found a receipt that Dave had saved from Target.
Curious as to what he had bought that he had so steadfastly guarded for so long, I saw that it was 3 years old and had 4 things on it: a plastic garbage can, beef jerky, Fritos and…wait for it, wait for it….
Oh yes. You read that right, Internet.
Thank sweet merciful sweet baby Jesus in heaven hallowed be thy Halloween name that he had carefully thought to store that receipt so lovingly on the floor of his office and move it with him not once, not twice, but three times since then.
Before you call “Hoarders” on me, a show that I cannot watch because I think that I would physically hurt myself either clawing at my skin or eyeballs (and because I don’t find people with obvious mental illness really gosh darn hilarious television), it’s not that he was saving it because he had any attachment to it, it just never dawned on him to throw it away.
Just like it never occurred to him to get rid of his box of cassette tapes that I personally lugged from apartment to apartment and I finally lugged DOWN to the dumpster after I realized that we didn’t own anything to play Milli Vanilli’s greatest hits, (an oxymoron of a tape if I ever saw one) any longer.
(Although in the interest of full disclosure here, I still sing “Blame it on the Rain” in the shower)(what? Like you don’t.)
Lately, I’ve been itching to purge my house of stuff, and while I have managed to go through several of the cabinets in the kitchen, ridding myself of such awesome condiments as a mysterious can of “Kraut” I have an entire genre of stuff that I cannot seem to go near:
You see, my uterus, it’s vacant.
With the exception of an IUD, should Daver continue to be “too busy” to get his vasectomy, I’m done having children. 3, like that wily School House Rock says, has always been the magic number for us. Although I’d always imagined having an assload of children, Dave assures me that 3 kind of IS an assload of kids.
If anything, skating so closely by with Amelia’s neural tube defect reminds me of just how fragile life is and how fucking lucky any of us are to be walking around upright, presumably not dragging our knuckles, slack-jawed and drooling (unless, of course, you’re me, in which case this IS the norm).
I’d read somewhere in my scant research about NTD’s that they are more common in siblings, which reminds me that I must do more research for something I’m writing for the March of Dimes, and since I’ve been on folic acid since dinosaurs were my classmates, well, I don’t know. Would you want to risk that one?
(that really wasn’t up for debate)
Dave’s done, and I’m pretty sure that no matter how many crotch parasites I popped from my delicate bits, I’d always be sort of wistful for one more. Just one more.
Chicago has 2 seasons: Balls Hot and Balls Cold and last week it went from being Balls Hot to Balls Cold and I noticed that my daughter had nothing to protect her rolling rolls from the searing wind.
I also noticed that denial is a pretty powerful thing: she’d been pretty quickly outgrowing her 6 month onesies (she’s 8 months old now) to the point where she was regularly popping open the snaps of the crotch as she scooted along the floor.
I hadn’t wanted to see that.
Just like I hadn’t wanted to go through her clothing bins to sort out the teeny tiny clothes and hats because unlike the last time, this really was The Last, Last Time.
Never again will one of my children wear that frilly dress or that spotted onesie with the frog that Alex used to wear or the hat that was Ben’s or the pink sweatshirt that I bought with my friend Steph when I found out I was pregnant with Ben who I just KNEW was a girl that I’ve carefully saved for my daughter for 8.5 years.
Those wee hats and tiny mittens won’t go on my gnome-like babies, and the bassinet that we so carefully picked out for Alex will have gone completely unused by any of our kids.
I know in my heart that I prefer my children to be children rather than garden slugs, but there’s just something so…sweet about a new baby that you just can’t get back again. I look at pictures of all of my babies as ickle babies and I can’t believe they were ever so small.
I’m not going to let their things go, though, like I normally would, chomping at the bit to get it out of here. For now, all of those memories sit in bags in Alex’s room along with the broken swing where Alex slept for the first 7 months of his life and the bouncy seat where Amelia spent several of hers.
I hope that the smell of their babyness will stay there, in the fabric, so when they’re big and gruff and smell like the woods and grass and dirt and rocks, I can go and grab a bag and open it, and inhale that sweet baby smell, the essence of their babyhood and where they began.
And remember when they were so small and good and when I could fix everything with some warm milk and a cuddle and a blankie. When I could stick my face in their neck while they slept to breathe in their smell so that I could carry that with me as I went about my day.
When we could curl up together like peapods, just the two of us against the world.
I hope that will always be enough for me.
Why Aunt Becky, I can hear you exclaim, you look positively AMAZING for having pushed what appears to be a 30 pound 4.5 year old out of your cootch!
And I will tell you, there, there, Internet, this is what happens when you have children when you are a broke 21 year old: you don’t have any digital pictures handy.
PLUS, you look WAY better in postpartum pictures this way.
Notice how much BETTER I looked in the picture with Ben than I do in this one taken after giving birth to Alex?
Juuuust kidding. Wear a condom, kids. Not kidding. No glove, no love, okay?
If you look closely, you’ll see why Ben is The Person of The Year. This is Ben meeting Alex. Look at Ben. Now look at Alex. Ben still adores Alex. I do not know why.
Ben deserves a medal or something.
And lastly, my Cinnamon Girl. My sweet baby Amelia. My last, last one.