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Holding on and letting go (part 2)

Recently we decided it was time for our preciously wrapped and stored baby things to find new homes with our youngest daughter turning four.
It was time.

Inhaling deeply, I unpackaged, took photos and listed the bassinet, cot, pushchair, and backpack remembering all our babies who graced these, and our two that did not.

Within 48 hours of listing they were gone. The pushchair was the last item collected, and as I watched the lovely expectant parents drive into the distance the salty drops arrived and my heart hurt.

It ached for a time when our oldest boy would suck his thumb as he rode ‘shotgun’ as his baby sister slept in the back and I got some much-needed exercise and fresh air.

For a time when our youngest daughter would sit in the front amidst her older siblings clothing and watch (begrudgingly at times) them play hockey, football and touch with snacks at the ready.

It ached for the babies we didn’t place in there – our Lily and tiny Micah.
These emotions had me questioning whether it was all too soon.

Could I have just held onto them a little longer?
And was it even about the items themselves or the confronting reality that what were once daily staples in our family life, were now surplus to requirement?
Did it hurt to know that this much time had passed? A decade of the pushchair accompanying us on every outing had somehow passed.
This mile marker of time passing evoked many feelings and some contemplation on the paradox of letting go to better hold on. Life’s dance.

We can do both.

I let go of the cot with it’s tiny bite marks on the headboard; to hold onto the memory of a time when our children here were small enough to make them.

I let go of the bassinet that gently housed our babies in their first weeks; to hold onto the beautiful newborn smell it’s memory evokes.
I let go of these precious items that served our family for a decade; yet hold onto the immense gratitude I have for their place in our home. Their mere presence signalling, we are privileged to hold children in our arms earthside.
I let go by feeling and releasing the immense sadness the thought of the babies that were not to grace these items evokes; yet hold onto the love I have for them and the hope I will one day hold them again.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other and life often isn’t.