Before you begin know that I have been really contemplating a lot of things and so the flow of this is not going to be in any order... just a lot of thoughts!
Memory maker versus memorabilia keeper...
Today I met with a women that is getting rid of a three car garage packed full of baby, toddler, and young child things. As I walked into the garage I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that was there. I begin sifting through the items on the search for a few very specific items. As I am searching I glance over at the woman and I see that there are tears in her eyes as she is lovingly folding an infant item. I ask her what has brought on the sale of all of these things. She looks at me with tears and says, "The conclusion of therapy."
Come to find out she was blessed with one child and after many miscarriages has given up hope. The statement "given up hope" rang so loudly in that garage at that very moment I became almost sick to my stomach. This three car garage was full of not "things" as I first stated but a reminder of lost babies, shattered dreams, and the very real constant reminder that only one child would be hers. Each toy, blanket, coat, baby item was not the purging of things, but the release of what clearly seemed to be hope. Not wanting to minimize her feelings but wanting to acknowledge her emotions I simply said, "I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that there are seasons for everything."
After spending a few more minutes with her I left her home. As I was driving home I realized a few things. First I realized that so often as moms we place our worth in our children. We are good moms if we have two or more happy, healthy, well behaved duplicates of our spouses and ourselves. Secondly, as women we tie our memories and emotions to things as they are reminders of what was. Thirdly, we see road-blocks in life as the end rather then an opportunity to grow, change, and take a detour.
The mornings events reminded me of a brief conversation that I had with a friend yesterday. I had a friend come over to my house yesterday for a play date. As our toddlers played I gave her a tour of my house. She looked at me in disbelief at the order in my home and jokingly said, "I have not seem the floors in my bedroom in months and the kids rooms - another crazy spot." I simply said, "I thrive in order and therefore often throw things out because they may cause clutter." That statement was no sooner out of my mouth before I followed with, "I am not one to keep things... first hair cut, whatever, didn't make a big deal about it."
I guess this all brings me in a circle again. I am not a "things" collector. I am a mom that loves and treasures every moment I spend with my two children, that are nothing less than God's gracious love.
How as a woman can I be a "things" collector as well as a memory maker? My thought is that memories won't clutter my house, but will decorate my mind and the minds of my children. Is it possible to still be a good mom without collecting every scrap of paper my children doodle on, or save every outfit my babies wear in a moth proof box? I guess I know the answers but am heavy hearted over the intricate details of what makes a mom a good one!