$75 (Memories Not Included)

I suppose there are funnier visions than a 30-something-year-old mother blogging in her garage while holding a garage sale in her front yard.

And boy is it hot out here.

But as the garage-salers seem to be slowing and the steady stream of deal-making gets put on hold for lunchtime, I am left to sit here in my rickety chair, looking out on my table of goodies which is mostly babystuff, and I end up doing what all people do when left in there own heads for too long. Reflect.


On the right side of the driveway are the homegoods. The candle holders, the curtains, rugs, golf clubs. On the left, the babystuff. My little babies' stuff.

And as I look at it all, I feel like our whole lives are spread out before me in my driveway with little tags on them, a price value for some things that seem so priceless. And then I have to consciously make an effort to remember that the bedding, the playmat, the high chair, they are all just items. Physical vessels that will allow another tiny human being the ability to take part in events like eating (first foods), sleeping (first naps), mobility (first crawls, stands, sits), imagining (first time seeing a fake fish), creativity (dancing to music) or cleansing (taking first baths).

Sure, it helps me to physically see the little froggies on the actual blanket itself to help me jar a recollection of my tiny, sweet, sweet boy sleeping soundly all swaddled up in his sweet pale green and yellow froggy room. But I will never really forget what that looks like in my mind or feel how that feels in my heart.

I look at the little playmat and remember bringing my little 4 pound baby home, swaddling him up and putting him on it, not because he would get anything out of it; he was still a tiny nub who hardly moved, but just because it was a different place to be. There was a lot of shifting involved back then. He'd go from the mommy to the bouncy to the mommy to the swing to the mommy to the playmat to the mommy to the crib or bassinet. You know, a little variety in his day. All of these items were very useful for the change of babyscenery.

I look at the playmat now and think about how both of my children would roll onto their tummies, both not being able to get over their own huge babyarm, so there they were, on their bellies and on one arm, all squished up and stuck in the corner of the playmat and screaming. Oh, they'd just get so darned mad, but it was a milestone and therefore, pictureworthy, so I would run and get the camera, take the picture, then of course stop the crying and console, and I would move them and they'd be happy again until they got stuck again about 5 minutes later.

There have been a few new mommies walking up my driveway and perusing through my babystuffs and in which case I get kind of excited because I can't help but wonder, who will take it next? Who will swing next in the swing and bounce in the bouncy and eat in the highchair? Whose living room will the swing take up an unGodly amount of space in for a while? Which mommy will take out the bedding, put it on the crib in the freshly painted nursery for the first time, the finishing touch, and run proudly out of the room to go get the hubby so they could stand there at the door, arm in arm, looking at the way the room looks for their new little baby? Which one will it be?

Ooh I would just get so excited!!! I would talk excitedly about my items, about how great they were, offering up tips and advice on how to get the best use out of them (but of course only when solicited because I didn't want to hover) and then they would say, "Thank you," and be on their way.

And then the hours eventually passed and so did the mommies; passing on some of the bigger items for whatever reason. And though a lot of stuff went (my first diaperbag ever that my husband absolutely hated for some reason, it was black and had silver pockets and silver straps that reminded me of space-retro and cleverly said, "baby bag" on it without CAPS -- I loved it, personally) and my first Magic Bullet blending system (I have since advanced to the latest gigantic model).

I suppose in that regard, I could wonder what the people who bought my bullet would be blending. Would they be making guacamole like me? Babyfood? Mango salsa? Omelettes? Hummus? Tomato sauce? Because that's the very blender I used to learn how to make all these new things because being a new mom and a new wife, sometimes one feels the need to domesticate herself and therefore, blend things. I even ground fresh spices once. And come to think of it, all of that makes me a little nostalgic now too. So I'll be needing a moment.


But for whatever reason, most of the big babystuff remains. And as I was packing it up with my husband, I broke down. I hadn't known why I was so sad but it was clear as we were packing it up.

Having a garage sale was my one shot at seeing who I might actually pass these things on to. Somehow, I felt better about selling it when I thought there was a possibility of maybe meeting whoever it would go to next. Putting the face with the item, forevermore in my mind. Picturing the new family enjoying whatever it was they bought, that my children once took so much pleasure in, and being able to picture another child making new memories in it. Knowing that it was going to a new family. The family that stood in my driveway once.

And as we were packing up, I thought about selling it on E-Bay because I would still have a shot at knowing who it would go to next. But honestly. C'mon. Is there such a thing as overthinking? Do I really need to know? At what point do I become the pathetic mommy who just can't let go?

Because, no matter what or where it goes, there will still be a family who will now be able to enjoy these things, which, in the end, are just that: things. The price tag may say $75. But the memories aren't included. Those, I get to keep.
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  1. Aww...memories and "things". It's tough...I could NOT get rid of my crib or the elmo blanket my son used to lay one and give elmo a big kiss...

    I have learned to let go of a lot of it...I sometimes wonder if maybe I got rid of too much...should I have kept more, but I know, it has no place..I have the pictures..the memories...the babies..who aren't babies anymore, but I love them just the same as if they were...

  2. I know, right? I have been trying to get ready for a garage sale as well, and I get so sentimental over anything from the baby days. *weep*

  3. its hard...i tried to sell the stuff i used when i first moved out on my own. there were very few takers. i remember when that stuff was the beginning of a new life for me. and now its not even worth $0.50

  4. I love this post. I love the way it`s written and the sentiment of it, too. You are awesome. I`m glad Tom didn`t know you were selling the Magic Bullet. I think I`ve told you how badly he`s always wanted one.

  5. Nicely written post! It is hard to part with some of the baby stuff. We typically pass outgrown stuff along to people we know (my preferred way...probably for the reasons you mention, although I wasn't conscious of it before), or donate it to a charity.


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