Monday, March 17, 2008

Just in Case...

My father lost his job 6 months ago, and in an attempt to keep their house long enough to sell it they've moved in with my maternal grandmother to free them up to get rid of the clutter accumulated over 25 years of living in the house. In addition to garbage bags full of expired medication, hotel soaps and shampoos and other little crap saved "just in case", I've also helped my mom purge bags and bags of my 9-year-old niece's old clothes. I'm finding that my niece's stuff is the hardest for her to let go of.

It's the stuff where the "just in case" was most hopeful.

My mom's pretty much always known I'm not the Mom type. We talked about it long before I met my husband. She's always been a good 80% supportive, which I think is really great. It's taking rooting through boxes and bags of old baby, toddler and kid stuff to realize that maybe she isn't THAT okay with it.

My brother, a single dad, is the other half of the "just in case". But even though my mom dreams of him meeting a nice girl and finally settling down, he's already told me that he envies us the ability to choose to remain childfree. Unless there's some dramatic change if he meets that nice girl, he does not intend on making another kid. After all, his daughter is already 9. He found raising her overwhelming and he didn't even do most of the work (my mom did).

I understand my mom's mourning for C's childhood. She has raised her as her own daughter for the most part and I'm sure this is a natural part of it. But there is a sense of guilt that I'm not giving her another little one to fawn over, spoil and adore. I wish there wasn't because I know that I shouldn't feel guilty.

Maybe it's just because she's been so sad lately, that losing C's childhood things means (in her eyes, as one who equates stuff with memories) losing hope of more grandkids, and in the context of everything else they're losing since my dad lost his job it's just too much to take. Regardless, it's really hard to look her in the eyes as I insist that the baby stuff go in the "sell" pile.

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