Out of the blue, Linnea started asking a big question this week. It began with a shiny new pacifier.
“My purple boppy, mommy,” she said, handling it with loving care as we rocked together before bed. “Who bought it me?”
After I replied that mommy bought the boppy, her eyes got bigger and she nodded knowingly, like wow, that is really important information. Ever since, she has conducted research on all of her must-have items. It’s who bought her carseat? Polka dot blanket? “Party shoes” (black patent leather mary janes)? Crib? And the sad thing is, I can’t always remember. I don’t recall, for example, who bought that now-favorite plush polka dot blanket.
Last night at bedtime, she wanted to see a teddy bear that was hanging out in the dolly cradle. “Who bought it me?” she asked. And I tried to explain that “Big Teddy” was Mommy’s when she was a little girl, and that one of Grandma Leslie’s girlfriends had bought it for me. She couldn’t comprehend the bear’s age, and neither could I—this big girl still remembers brushing that bear’s oatmeal-colored fur with my parents’ blue hairbrush.
As Josh and I make way for Baby #2, I’m going through the house, looking for unnecessary items that could be donated, recycled, or tossed. We have a small house, and as stuff comes in, other stuff must go out. But at the same time, I want to hang on to the right things—the Big Teddies in the sea of toys that Linnea has already accrued in her two years.
At a baby shower before Linnea was born, my mother-in-law, Rose, gave me a plush bunny that had belonged to my husband. Young Joshua had named it Rabbit James Wilhelm, and Rose had tied a nametag around its neck with a ribbon. Rabbit J. now has a choice spot in our daughter’s room, and to me, there’s nothing sweeter than that.
I Want to Know
In a culture of clutter and copious consumption, how is one to know when to hang on and when to weed out?
As you look around your place, what do you see that was a special gift from someone else?
Do you have any keepsakes from when you were a baby?