I am totally putting off the inevitable. Twice a year I drag out clothes that are too small, toys that are unused and books that are no longer read. I sort, tag and mark. Wire hangers, safety pins and index cards fill every space in the weeks leading up to Kindermarket, our local children’s consignment store. Every year I wait until the last minute. Every year I think, “next year I’ll be more organized.” Yeah. Right. So this year I am once again, up to my ears in piles of clothes. Piles for goodwill, piles to sell, piles I just can’t part with and piles that I am hoping to give to friends. My piles runneth over.
So today is the semi-annual KNOCK IT OUT DAY. It isn’t going so well. To begin with-it’s 70degrees outside and I don’t want to be stuck inside. My soon-to-be 3 year old is making this year’s sorting twice as difficult as she helps. “Hep! Hep! Hep!” I hear. She’s tried to put on a pair of 18month shorts with lady bugs on them. The shorts are stuck. Good and stuck. She hops over, knocking over a precariously stacked pile in the process. Get those off and go back to sorting. “Look Mommeee!” She’s found a princess nightgown. “OHHHHHHH-Princess.” I hear as she works her way through another pile. She’s wearing a Christmas dress with a net crinoline underneath. The handkerchief hem, spaghetti dress she unearthed goes on OVER the Christmas dress. She attempts to twirl. We are in a confined space. The twirl goes sideways and she goes down. Along with a pile or two. Up she bounces pushing her hair out of her eyes and making her way toward a pile of flip-flops she’s spotted from the vantage point of the floor. She slips on 2 and toddles off wearing two different shoes. She’s already done this multiple times so now I have a pile of single shoes. Sigh. I am getting nowhere.
For several years I’ve put off the selling of the Lego’s and Hot Wheels. I just wasn’t ready. This year it’s time. I sit down and call in the 13 year owner of the said Lego’s and Hot Wheels. I tell him of the plan. His face falls. His mouth droops and the look of dejection breaks my heart. He sinks to the floor as if the news is just too much to bare. “You don’t play with them anymore, baby.” I say. Nothing. “Did you play with them AT ALL last year?” I prod. He mumbles something that sounds like maybe. I ask again. “No ma’am. Well…not a lot. Some. Sort of,” he stumbles over himself trying to figure out a way to save his beloved toys. Finally he gives up in a logical debate and says, “MOOOOOMMMMMM.”
I feel his pain. I’ve sorted baby pajamas, baby dresses, little girl outfits and teeny-tiny bathing suits. Many could have been sold the year before or even the year before that but I just couldn’t part. I couldn’t let go of the itty-bitty pajamas’ or the precious bubble suit. This year I knew I had to. So I am not immune to his pain. He’s 13 but is still hanging on to bits of that little boy who wore the spider man t-shirt with the attached cape. He’s got a cell phone, an I-pod touch and a girlfriend but he’s not yet grown up enough to give up the Lego’s and the Hot Wheels that he loved for so long.
We arrive at a compromise. He’s cull some of the cars. There are well over 100. Surely we can part with a few. He lovingly sorts each one-telling a story about who gave it to him or why it’s his favorite. His 10-year old sister is his audience. He lovingly takes each one out and examines it like a archeologist examining some ancient treasure. Some go right back into the case. About every 3rd car he’ll hand to me and say, “this one can go.” It’s sad.
And this was the easy part. Every year I catch my 10-year old taking stuff out of the stack that she can’t bare to part with. I can’t get her to part with a t-shirt without drama. As she is the main witness to her bother’s pain I can see her warily eyeing the pile of pink toys across the room. Every once in awhile I see her slink over and slide something behind the tote. I hear Colton call her a hoarder…hey-she’s been called one before by the evil MIL but he isn’t saying it venomously like she did. He’s stating a fact. She retorts with a humprh. “I am not a hoarder. I just like SPECIAL things. AND it’s all so special!”
So you see why I am putting this off. But I can’t put it off any longer. The wire hangers and safety pins have been gathered. The clothes have been sorted-and sorted-and sorted. It’s time.