At 3, this is what Max thought I did for a living.
Moving is overwhelming. Completely. Especially for someone like me who’s just not a mover. My mom still lives in the same house I grew up in. I can count on one hand and 2 fingers on the other the places I’ve lived since I left my mom’s house for college. I find where I like and I stay there.
After 15 years in one house, we’re packing up to move. When Mark and I got married year and a half ago, I had a house and he had a house. We put his on the market first because we were certain it would sell. One year later it is still on the market. Yikes. So now mine is going on the market because houses in my historic, centrally-located neighborhood are selling fast. So it means I have to pack.
Today I tackled our extra bedroom which contains 400 containers (OK, 6) of drawings, cut-outs, scribbles, photos, “what we did today” notes and more from Max’s life since his daycare/preschool. I told myself I WOULD NOT open boxes, just stack them to make it easy to move.
Um, that lasted about 2.5 seconds.
It started innocently enough. Looking some artwork of trees and leaves, a Thanksgiving cutout and a Christmas calendar with photos from Max’s daily life at preschool. That brought smiles and great memories and a tear or two brimming on my eye. As I looked and sorted, the magnitude of moving and packing and the change coming my way hit me hard and the tears began to flow. Lots of them.
I’m an admittedly proud sap. I cry easily–over both happy and sad things. I wear my emotions all over my face. So as I sorted and cried, I heard Max coming down the hall.
“Whatcha doing, Mom?”
“Oh, just going through a few things,” I said.
“This is a lot of stuff. It looks like stuff from when I was little. Mom, are you crying?”
So as I sat in the floor trying to hide my tears, I looked up at my sweet boy and said, “Yes, honey, I am.”
I explained that all of the things I was looking at brought back such wonderful memories and made me feel sad about leaving our house…the one where he came home from the hospital, took his first steps, played in the sprinkler and read under the big tree in the yard.
Max put his hands on my face and kissed my forehead. “Mom, I know it is sad but just think, we have memories to make in the new house and it will be fun.”
If I didn’t feel like the child in this exchange before, I certainly did now. As I was looking through his toddler things, Max showed me what an amazing young man he’s become. I realized that regardless what I saved or discarded, the knowledge that Max is growing into such an insightful person will stay with me long after the drawings have faded.
And that’s not something you can pack in a box.