Saturday, November 01, 2008


I went into the bathroom to stow some towels this evening. Half of the towel shelf was already occupied by a neat stack of towels; the other half was occupied by bath toys. Boats, fish, mermaids, all holdovers from Banana's toddler years. I'd held on to them through the move to our current house a year and a half ago and put them in the bathroom as though they would continue to be relevant to her life.

Over time, they were replaced by the Barbies she plays with during the occasional bath—often enough, she showers these days. When replaced, they moved beside our claw-footed tub. They eventually moved up to the shelves during a cleaning. In all that time, they were never purged. Until tonight.

Through a combination of lassitude and slack oversight, I'd managed to overlook them for this long. When I looked for a space for the stack of clean towels, I realized that this space-consuming collection of toddler toys would never be played with again, at least not by Banana. Should I become a father again, it's not going to happen soon enough to warrant keeping these obsolete toys in our active living space. So, out the toys went.

I suppose there's always a point in parenting (and life, in general) when you realize you've kept the artifacts of the past far longer than necessary. There's a certain bittersweet feeling to realizing that you truly have grown past that part of your life, and I know some mothers who mourn the moments when they realize their children are no longer their babies. In fact, it's happened to many of our friends as they sent their kids to first grade. Yet, though I fondly remember Banana's younger years, I also am coming to accept that we need to purge some of these artifacts (physical and otherwise) if we're going to move forward and grow into the next phases of our lives.