Friday, May 11, 2012

Moving is a lot like breaking up...

With your stuff. With routines. With comfort zones.

But mostly...with your stuff.

A necessary, painful process, it involves a lot of back and forth, hemming and hawing, some pointless bargaining about being willing to change if I could just get one more chance with my neglected waffle iron, and a whole lot of second-guessing in the wee hours of the morning when load after load of belongings gets hauled off to donation centers and garbage dumps.

"Did I end it too soon with that crate of yarn? Could I have gotten the scrapbooking bug if only I hadn't  sold my stash to the lady with the fierce overbite?"

I flatly refused to part with my cheap handheld mixer last week. It was in the to-go pile and seeing it there, sad and lonely as the gang from Toy Story when the kid goes to college, I suddenly remembered every batch of cookie dough Boo gleaned from their shiny, made-in-China-and-bought-at-the-big-box-store-for-$9.99 tines.

How could I? How dare I abandon our chocolate chip memories?

I nearly suffered an embarrassing meltdown when our kind neighbor bought Boy Wonder's  neon green bike, "Surge."  Sure, it had a cracked pedal and was almost too small for him. Sure, it was going to a kid whose mom was going through a rough patch and they'd just about lost everything recently.

Sure. Whatever.

But that's my kid's bike you're wheeling away without so much as a nod to its significance to me as a mama. This is the bike we bought him the summer he discovered how fun yanking earthworms from rain puddles was. The one he road on those marathon walks I would take him and his younger brother on last summer we we all waited on the arrival of a baby sister. (And whoever said walking helps stimulate labor is a damn liar, anyway.)

These are are memories you're pawing through and haggling over, you vultures.

My mom is sort of broken-recordish about how long it took her to learn that objects don't hold memories--our hearts do.

It's all well and good for her, but as I'm sorting through which beloved kids books to keep and which ones won't make the trip south, I'm not exactly open to opportunities for personal growth. I'm open to an anonymous benefactor bequeathing me enough money to rent a barge the size of Rhode Island for my memories, my rick rack, my "will fit into someday when I stop having babies," my "I'm sure he'll need these coloring books eventually"...and all of my potential memories, too.

Starting over is a messy process. But as box upon box of "coulda beens," "nearly happeneds" and even those "sure were funs" go out the door, a load is lifted from our shoulders ounce by ounce, albeit painfully.

Just like that gut-wrenching breakup you swore would be the end of you, but ended up being a brand new start.

I'm sure my old t-shirts won't harbor any abandonment issues or laugh about my lack of folding skills behind my back with whoever plucks them from the thrift store bin. I might regret my old Celtics shirt that doesn't fit not being in the same place in the dresser drawer, but I'm sure the universe won't get knocked off it's axis.

"It's ok," my old silverware whispers from the shoebox on the garage floor, ready for this weekend's garage sale. "It's all going to be ok."


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