|Annie in the play house in 2010|
Delaney acts as if we're selling off a part of her every time we sell something. She just cried when she found out that the art desk with the little red stools was going away, and I really felt like poop. I have tried to explain to her the importance of donating or selling the things you don't need or use anymore because it frees up space in your house, some other kid will play with it because you don't anymore, and we won't end up buried alive in our own stuff, blah, blah. But I know I'm wasting my time. She can't possibly understand that yet. Nor can she understand how hard this is for me too.
Take the little art desk and red stools. The desk was used only once or twice for its intended purpose -- probably in Quantico when we had it in our living spaces. But once we moved here, we put it in the playroom where it has served as a giant paperweight ever since. As a result it is in almost new condition even though it's five years old. The kids do their art projects at the kitchen table. I wouldn't dream of letting them take crayons and glue up to the playroom. But those little red stools on the other hand.. They have been all over this house, and boosted three little people up to countertops, and supported them as they reached for things in closets and on high shelves. At first we thought we'd try to sell the desk without the stools because it's tough to part with something that has borne the feet of our children on a daily basis the past few years. But we quickly figured out that nobody would want to buy the desk without the little red stools. It makes no sense to hang onto them. They don't even make the best step stools anyway. They're too light and the surface isn't that wide, and they don't grip the floor the way a regular old Rubbermaid stool will. But they're perfect for little feet. I'm sure it sounded very callous to Delaney when I said, "Those are some pretty expensive stepstools we've been sitting on all this time." I want her to know that I do care, that it pains me to see the stools go.
I see people buying and selling things all the time. I know women who have bought/sold/traded all manner of baby and kid gear items. One thing works for awhile and then it doesn't, so you sell one thing and buy another. It's so practical. But I wonder if it ever hurts to do it. Right before Timmy was born I sold the little bassinet that I had used for Delaney and Annie as newborns, so I could buy a co-sleeper. When I unfolded the bassinet and set it up to take a picture, it still smelled like Pampers. Oh, my heart! There are memories attached to every last thing I own, and there's always a reason to keep every single thing. What a first world problem this is. We have an overabundance of nice things, and it has always made me so happy to be able to give them something I think they'd enjoy, or to see them receive something from a loved one or a friend. We have always been so blessed. But I try not to become overly attached to things, because that's what they are, just things. The kids don't seem to be overly attached to things either. They abandon their best toys in favor of dirt and rocks. But I know how Delaney feels to see something go away. It's so final and you can't help but be sad.
A few hours have gone by since I started this post. A man came for the little art desk and stools. Delaney seems to be in good spirits again, and she's never one to hold a grudge. But I hated to see her tears earlier. I hope that she doesn't wind up on an episode of Hoarders 25 years from now as a result of her ruthlessly de-cluttering parents.