Wednesday, March 31, 2010
If you were to look behind my bedroom door, hung there is a giant shoe organizer. Beautiful high heels, in an array of colors. There is also some really pretty flats. Some stilettos, and a few Mary Jane style shoes. Purchased before kids. Purchased during another time in my life. I worked, and had zero responsibility. When I say that, I mean my responsibility was to be a law abiding citizen, a good person, and a contributing member of society. That would pretty much cover it. I worked and when I was not at work, I thought about me. I thought about my finger and toenails, and actually got a manicure and pedicure, once a week. My hair was so shiny and well maintained. I indulged in really fancy shampoos, and salon visits. My closet was filled with beautiful designer clothes, and really great vintage pieces, that I scoured the city for, to mix and match with my higher end duds. I had great bags, to match. I really enjoyed getting dressed, and thought I had really great sytle. Actually, I did. I always looked great. Those clothes still hang in my closet, presently. The shoes and dresses, pocketbooks, and scarves. All that of a uniform of a girl, that I no longer am. Three children later, and a decade more, these clothes are not only not relevant or appropriate for my daily life...they are flat out, out of style.
Why do I hold on to these things. They clutter my already tiny home. They take up space that I could otherwise use for the things that I actually use. I do not think I will ever be a size 2 ever again. In fact, I can say that with certainty. Yet, there they are. Behind the door, shoes no longer worn. Hung in the closet, a sleek suit that will never grace my body again. My husband tells me I am a hoarder. I have seen those shows on television. The people who don't throw garbage away, and can no longer use their home, as a home, because from floor to ceiling, there is just, stuff. Junk. Those people are hoarders. I feel that I have a reluctance of letting things go. I have a need to hold, or see something tangible, some sort of proof of a memory, that I have in my head. I not only need to remember how great I looked in my Gucci shoes, and Chloe dress. I need to hold it. I know that sounds mad. Maybe it is. Maybe I am. That desire has now begun to stretch it's sticky little fingers into the lives of my children. They bring home from school, these most amazing creations. Beautiful paintings, and drawings. Adorable writings, detailing their day at school. Milestones, and accomplishments, all on paper. Proof of their successes, and growth. Proof of them.
There are now piles of artwork, and doodles that I find too precious to part with. Mounds of yellowing paper, fading colors. But images that just astound me. Babies that came out of my body, able to draw, and translate the world they see, onto paper. How could this be thrown away? Would it not be like throwing part of their memory away? I struggle with this, as I know I cannot keep each and every creation. It saddens me to discard some of them. I feel like I am somehow negating all of their hard work. Like I am throwing away some piece of them. Like I would be throwing away a part of me, if I were to throw away my uniform of a girl, that is here no more. Would it vanish from my memory as well?
I hold my baby tight. I sniff her neck. The back of her neck, in that sweet little fold, where her neck ends, and her back begins. The scent is heavenly. I look at my daughters hair. The color is amazing. It reflects the light, and has a rainbow shimmer to it. I listen to my little girls never ending tales of adventures with monkey, her imaginary friend. The conversations we have together in the car. The songs they sing quietly, when they think that no one can hear them. How will I remember these. I cannot hold any of these things in my hands. I cannot put them all together and store them in a bin, with a label on them. I cannot bottle the smells and sounds that are my babies. Fleeting. All fleeting. Every memory cannot be crammed into my brain, as hard as I try. I can't remember my older daughter's baby smells. I can't remember the sound of her giggle. I see her now. How she is. A young girl. The baby within her, gone. I will never be able to take that baby out, and hold her. I cannot hold that memory ever again.