emotional about STUFF

I'm not one to get emotional over stuff. I used to be more sentimental. I used to be a "keeper". I would keep any cards or notes I received. I even had a huge file cabinet full of notes passed in class in junior high (you know, the kind you specially folded with the pull-tab?) until my mother made me throw them out. But then I met Mark and his purging ways rubbed off on me.

I try not to get too wrapped up with "things" in any way. If you give me a beautiful note, I will cherish it for a day, and then I will throw it into the trash. Not because I don't love you, but because hanging it on my fridge and then putting it in a drawer and the filing it and then eventually throwing it away in five years when I clean out the overstuffed cabinet does not make me cherish it any more. But I love you for it, because hand-written correspondence is very rare these days. So very thoughtful of you.

I was going through stuff for my garage sale baby boutique this weekend. First I had to sort through all of my maternity clothes. I found myself reminiscing about both pregnancies, and I was struck with the finality of never being pregnant again. Which then brought up a flood of thoughts about our journey to become pregnant, and the pregnancies that did not last, and then the joy and anxiety and resulting miracles of those that did. I had a little moment of emotion as I realized that journey was over, and even a bit of sadness that I would never be pregnant again.

NOT ENOUGH SADNESS TO DO IT AGAIN, mind you. But I was a little wistful about the whole thing. I also came across the dress I wore for our ten-year anniversary party in 2006. I remembered what a special night that was. I remembered wearing that dress and dancing in my backyard at all my family and friends, and being so in love with my husband and baby boy, and so excited to be a few months away from a new baby girl.

Then I started going through the baby clothes. Again, I was overwhelmed knowing that we are totally done with the newborn stage. (Yes. We are definitely done. Don't ask me how I know. Because Mark asked me specifically not to blog about the minimally-invasive outpatient procedure that has given me that assurance. So I'm not blogging about it. Here is me not blogging about it, honey.) I am so glad we are done. But I was a little weepy as I put the price tags on all those 0-3 month clothes, knowing that I would never be holding a baby of mine at that size. And then I got a lot weepy thinking about how fast these kids are growing, and how I can't believe that Karis is already so big, and CAN I JUST FREEZE HER AT THIS AGE PLEASE? Because I can't bear for her to not be this delicious little baby forever. Nor can I bear to see Jafta and India get any older, either. They are just so cute and perfect at the stages they are at right now. (Other than the whole "independent toileting" factor).

WAAAHHHHHHHH. I'm crying about it just typing this.

Then I pulled out a box of Jafta's old clothes. They were labeled "Kembe". They were size 2T, and I was so sure that THIS would be the size he would come home wearing. I had already gotten rid of a box of 12-18m clothes for him, and I finally handed over the 18-24m to cousin Tanner. I remember boxing up the 2T clothes for him and thinking how big they seemed for the little baby I met in Haiti.

He turns 3 next month.

It's just stuff, I tried to tell myself, as I put the 2T clothes into a bag for Mark to take to Haiti. It's just stuff, I tried to tell myself as I gave the 2T winter clothes to cousin Tanner. It's just stuff, I tried to tell myself as I placed the 3T clothes into the box marked for Kembe.

But it's more than stuff, isn't it?


  1. It is more than stuff and you have every right to feel emotional. I am hoping for you all the time that Keanan will be home soon.

    (I always feel a little odd when I comment on your blog because you don't know me and I don't know you other than what I know from your blog. Sometimes I am a little uncomfy with the informal nature of blogging and imagine you wondering who this crazy Lindsey is who occasionally leaves comments. I found your family blog through Mama Manifesto and I love it. I live in San Diego and I once e-mailed you about your experience bringing Jafta home as my husband and I are very interested in adopting one day. Anyway, sorry for the novel of a comment. Love your blog!)

  2. just last night me and E were discussing A LOT about how we are ready to push the pause button on our lives and just cherish the moment. Moments are what move...I am so glad that we get to 'hang' on to them.

    I hear ya on the the 'stuff'.

  3. ... just to warn you, a close friend of mine's DH had the V done, then she got pregnant a few months later. He got the V redone, and she again got preg a few months later. The third V worked... so far;-)

  4. Well, yes. When that stuff equates to time slipping away, it's more than just stuff.

    I think it's probably worse when it's time that feels like it was stolen from us (like time that Keanan SHOULD have been home, and wasn't).

    He is so delicious in that picture, I could just eat him up.

  5. Um...I wish I had words.

    I'll try. YES, it's more than stuff when it holds meaning like that. The way this was written spoke volumes. Beautiful.

  6. don't sell them! send them to me so I can make them into a quilt. it's not just stuff!!! seriously, i will do it!

    umm dan & hillary's comment is scary.

  7. We are getting ready to move and that involves lots of sorting through stuff. I go back and forth on what papers to keep from my oldest - I have a million little notes and drawings from her that say "I love you MOM" - how can I throw them all away??

    Your attachment to the clothes is understandable, because you emotionally invested in Keanan being home by now. It must seem like forever. Someday he will read this and it will really touch him.

    P.S. On Dan & H & LR's comment: I had my tubes tied last fall. It is unusual but not unheard of for the tubes to reopen - meaning a very small percentage of women who've had the procedure do end up pregnant. If that ever happens, you can expect to find me with a book deal and my own reality show.

  8. P.S. When I say someday Keanan will read this, I don't mean my comment of course, I mean your blog posts about how much you miss him and want him to come home. I re-read it and it sounded kind of odd.

  9. I hear you...it is much more than stuff. I have a similar box of clothes for Stevenson, which he's probably outgrown, but I don't have the strength to go through it just yet.

    who woulda thought growing a family would be so difficult??
    But I always try to bring it back to...God has a plan (though some days this gives me more peace than others !) :)


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