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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Saying "Bye-bye"

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saying "Bye-bye"

I'd been putting it off... I just didn't know how it was going to go. It didn't sound like it would be easy... or fun. But we really needed to do something about all those animals. A long while ago I made a "one in one out" kind of rule, but I'd never been able to keep it myself. Apparently I'm still more of a sentimental than I would have given myself credit for. How could I decide something so important as stuffed animals?

We headed to the bedroom. I gathered my littles around me and explained what we were going to do. I expected hysterics. There weren't any. I emptied the toy chest of all the stuffed animals... emptied the beloved toys onto the floor. The box was so full we couldn't even get the lid down all the way.

The first thing said was "not that one!"

I decided on a new approach.

"First, pick out the ones you want to say 'bye-bye' to." I said, expecting blank stares. There weren't any. In he moved, my four year old, picking up the first to go.

"Are you sure?" I asked. He nodded. "Can we say bye-bye to this one Sweet Pea?" I asked my almost 3 year old. She nodded. I tossed it out into the hall.

We moved through almost half of them in that fashion. I automatically saved a couple I knew would be great for Little Man in the coming months, and was prepared to save the ones that were mine as a child (though I love that I didn't have to... they were the first ones saved by the kids! They even held them the entire time so nothing would happen to them!)

The puppets were tough... Tornado announced early on that we needed to keep all the "hand ones". That's 12 of them. "Ok... let's move these over and do them after," I suggested. Once we were through with the easy decisions on the regular animals, we moved to the "hand ones". I laid them out in their family groupings as we'd received them. I knew there were some that never really got play time, and they were the ones to go first. A few favorites were caught up immediately and saved.

For the most part I tried not to lead them in their decisions at all. Because they were getting rid of so many, I really didn't feel like I needed to. Only on a few that I know we never play with did I recommend, but even then I didn't need to recommend. They were all for throwing them down the hall with the others... saying "bye-bye" to each one. And some of these were ones they have loved playing with. Some of these were my favorites.

The process was actually harder on me. As we were getting to the end, I'd ask about each one... "how about this one? Keep or Bye-bye?"

"Bye-bye," they would say. I would double check on some... afraid maybe Sweet Pea didn't understand.

"Are you sure?" I'd ask. Inside thinking all the while, but you love this chicken. You've played with it... slept with it... fought over it. My lip may have even quivered. I didn't say any of those things... I don't want my children to have the same material sentiment issues like I do if they don't already. But I can't stand that this little chicken isn't going to be part of our household anymore.

Then there is this guy.

"Are you sure? You don't have to say bye bye." I was practically begging them to keep him.

Why is my heart still sick over him? And I do mean still... I've fought the strong desire to call My Beloved all day to ask him to save Pink Doggie! I want him... he can go in the memory box.

Then I remind myself that I'm being ridiculous. We can't keep everything. We don't have the room for what we have.

Then, not two seconds later, I again break into that cold sweat and reach for the phone.

She loves this one. They both do. She's not done with him. I almost didn't even ask about him. I almost just put him in the box. He was on her bed. She'd been sleeping with him these last couple nights. The box had been opened and she saw him. I can still hear her little high pitched voice... "Pink Doggie!" I brought him out and he went right on the bed with the other beloved ones. Why did I ask?!?

I still don't know why she said bye bye to this one. But it's hard. Like loosing a piece of her. I remember the gifter, I remember the play times, the cuddles... how she needed him in her crib.

And now he's gone. Why do I want to let out a long mournful sob? Over a stuffed pink doggie?

Then the practical side of me returns... however weak. I still have those memories. It's the memories that matter... not the stuff of them. My resolve feels weaker than the words.

There is a memory attached to many of the loved animals in this bag. A few were easy to let go of, but most hold a spot in my heart because they are attached to memories I have of my babies being babies. I can still see them laying on blankets playing with this little "snake". But his batteries are just about dead, and no one plays with him anymore.

So I did the big girl thing. I didn't let my 4 and almost 3 year old see me cry over things. We put them into a bag and sent them off with My Beloved this morning. They are gone... somewhere. Available for some other little one to love as much as we did. Not being wasted or horded by me... the sentimental one in the tiny house

Update: As of finishing this post I have still not called to save Pink Doggie... though I almost have 3 times and was actually crying while I typed (just keeping it real). My resolve comes and goes... right now I'm in a weak spot.

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At February 3, 2011 at 6:21 PM , Anonymous Dee @ Start Dreaming said...

I am just like you!!! I have such a hard time getting rid of the "sentimental" stuffed toys. I drive myself nuts with the obsession! Sigh...

I am sure your little ones will be ok if they made the decision. Kudos for being the bigger person with this and separating them from material attachments.

Take care,

At February 7, 2011 at 11:46 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Oh, yes, the beloved stuffed animals. There's something so special about each one that makes them difficult to let go - even for us Mommies! I found this wonderful Animal Bag by Boon that let's you fill a bag with your animals and use it like a bean bag. Only better because there are easy to zipper open mesh panels to see all the cute animals in there. My kids love it and we keep our animals and have a bag chair too. Perfect!


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