Those five sons eventually did the once unimaginable--of course they did: they grew up, they moved out, they started grown-up lives of their own. And now, two (soon to be three) of the five are experiencing the joy of having their own homes starting to fill up with their own children.
So I should be ready to part with some of the stuff 'n things and this 'n that and bric-a-brac we accumulated over the 25-plus years we've lived in this house, right? You know, some of the clutter that my sons wouldn't even miss if I boxed it up and carted it off to Goodwill?
You would think so, wouldn't you?
We are in the midst of renovating our downstairs half-bath/laundry room; and between that project and the even bigger project of getting ready to turn a house on the lake in Upstate NY into a VRBO vacation rental, I'm suddenly in the mood to cull through all the junk and get my house in order. (When you live in one house for a quarter of a century, and you raise five sons there, it's amazing the stuff you'll accumulate!)
When we took out the old vanity in the downstairs bathroom, I realized that its drawers were holding a lot of useless items that we could toss. So that got me thinking: what's hiding in the drawers of the vanity in the upstairs bathroom that our boys used to share? I thought I remembered finally throwing away years-old acne creams a few years back (wow, was that long overdue!). But look what I wasn't able to part with when I got rid of the ancient Clearasil containers.
Because...look at these cute things.
And the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cup on the right? One Christmas many, many moons ago, all four of our oldest sons got TMNT toiletry kits from Santa, each with a toothbrush, a comb, a brush, a cup, a packet of tissues, and a little bag to carry it all in. I put their names on all the items in their kits with a Sharpie marker, and they used these cups for years. (The combs and brushes--not so much.) These TMNT cups used to litter the vanity top in their bathroom. Not gonna toss them either. Nope.
Speaking of those "heroes on a half-shell"...even though we're trying to update our house a little, I'm not gonna remove this tacky Turtles switch plate in the upstairs hallway. It's been there, under that precious picture of our four oldest doing their best TMNT impressions (Turtle power!), since just after we moved in, and I simply can't bring myself to say good-bye to it. Not yet. I don't care if Chip and Joanna Gaines or the Property Brothers would chide me for keeping it! I don't!
How about this ridiculous item?
Speaking of things that haven't seen any use in this decade (or the last one, either), here are a few more choice offerings.
After perusing the drawers in the bathroom, I brought a load of stuff up to the attic (more stuff that we probably don't need, but that I can't part with just yet), and I cracked open a few of the large plastic bins up there.
One is filled with clothes; newborn-, toddler-, and little boy-sized.
Awww...son #3 wore that red dinosaur sweater on top of the pile for a family portrait we had taken at Sears, when he was just a little tyke. And now he has a baby son of his own named G-Man, who tends to sport a lot of dino-themed clothing.
I'll go through that bin some other time.
Another bin is filled with dinosaur toys.
I also have lots and lots of used football and lacrosse gear squirreled away up in that attic: football knee pads, thigh pads, girdles, and practice pants and jerseys; lacrosse gloves, arm guards, shoulder pads, and helmets.
It's just STUFF, it shouldn't mean anything. But it's all so intricately tied up with my family's history that I get misty-eyed just looking at it.
Because it all goes so fast, doesn't it? If you're a parent, you know what I'm talking about. Your children grow up in the blink of an eye. And suddenly, your youngest is a college grad who's out on his own and hardly needs his dear old mom anymore...
Taken this weekend at Notre Dame, where my husband and I met up
with our baby and a whole bunch of other Pearls for the football opener.
And the next time that tall, handsome, grown-up guy in the picture above comes home, his Spongebob Squarepants bath sponge will be there. Just in case he wants it. For now, anyway.