Saying Goodbye To Your Baby Gear

By  | 

There we were, grilling out with my in-laws on a recent weekend. The kids were entertaining each other nicely, with the help of a Slip-N-Slide and some water guns. The adults were sitting around on the patio, discussing summer camps and vacation plans. It was all very relaxing. Until my sister-in-law asked my husband and I if we wanted to bring anything over to her garage sale. All the sudden, my eyes got wide. My fight-or-flee reflex was kicking in. I could see my husband nodding, excited at the idea of unloading some of our attic into a garage sale that we wouldn’t even have to work. I was picturing my well-meaning husband sorting through all my daughter’s old baby necessities and giving away all my favorites. Really, it was terrifying.

The first time my husband tried to clean out my daughter’s toys was a disaster. I came home from work to find a small bear we’d gotten at the hospital on top of a heap of trash. I snatched it up and stormed into the bedroom. “How could you throw this away? We got this at the hospital!” He didn’t understand why that was important. “Brenna never plays with it. Why would we keep it?” Apparently he wanted to fight a mother desperately clinging to her infant memories with logic. That was a silly move. I banned him from ever cleaning our daughter’s room again. Ok, I couldn’t really ban him. But I said that I would take care of it.

Now, once every couple of months, I sort through my daughter’s toys that she isn’t touching. I weed out the clothes that are either too small or too off-season. I pack all this up into tubs and move it into the garage, so my husband can throw it up in the attic. He’s been telling me for months that the attic is full. We have too much packed away in the attic. We have too many swings and bouncers and high chairs and strollers. And tubs. We have too many freakin’ tubs. But I can’t get rid of them.

Saying goodbye to my baby gear means saying good bye to my baby. It means that she’s never going to be that small and innocent and sweet again. With no more baby gear, I’ll have a big kid on my hands. One with opinions, to which I’m still adjusting. Saying goodbye to the baby gear means admitting that I might never have another child. I might never need all those receiving blankets or sterilization kits. To my husband, we’re just getting rid of stuff that we don’t need. To me, it’s closing the door on a wonderful and amazing part of my life. Parenting an infant is stressful and sleepless, but it’s also magical. And I’m having a hard time saying goodbye to it.

In the end, I packed one bag full of toys to go to the garage sale. Oh, we sent plenty of our own stuff. We sent a desk no one was using and some pictures that we would never hang, furniture from before we lived together. But we only sent one bag of my daughter’s belongings. He still didn’t make me say goodbye to the baby gear. Someday, I’ll have to do it though. Til then, I will live in fear of garage sales or anyone who threatens to clean out our attic. Hopefully, we get a couple more uses out of all that baby gear and I can prove to my husband that I was planning ahead, instead of clinging to the past.

(Photo: Thinkstock)