Sometime between then and now, between bottle feeding and swimming lessons, time has sped up. Considerably. This upsets me. I don't miss the work of babies, believe me. I can do without the breast pumps, midnight feedings, bottle washing, diapers and baby gates. But I do miss other things, like burping and socks and naps and baths and baby toys.
That's the thing that has brought this on, I guess. Toys. Over the past several days I have been going through my kids' toy collections. With extremely generous grandparents and aunts and uncles, my boys have amassed a lot of toys. A LOT of toys. 90% of which they don't play with anymore. So in order to make more room in closets and shelves and basically everywhere else in the house, I've been sorting the 'still-played-with' from the 'not-played-with.' And removing the 'lost-pieces' and the 'broken-pieces' as well. It is a huge effort. And I have to do it while the boys are at school, else they will fish every other thing that I put into the 'going away' pile and claim that it is their favorite toy and they still want to keep it.
Actually, the biggest difficulty I've had to overcome is my own nostalgia. I remember some of these toys with great fondness. The playmobile airport set that took me three hours to put together. The spiral ball slide with four openings at the bottom. The musical tree house. The classic plastic jewels that snap together. The alphabet, number and shape puzzles that are missing most of their pieces. I played with all of these with my boys, and it brings back wonderful memories. I am loathe to part with them. My long-term memory pretty much stinks, so unearthing these old toys has triggered forgotten images of play and laughter that catch at my throat.
I am tempted to keep some of them. Not for my boys to play with, but for me to remember with. More than tempted. I've already got a sack of baby clothes stashed away. And I save a good bit of their artwork and schoolwork. Why shouldn't I keep some of the toys? Am I being overly sentimental? Probably. Who cares. I have a feeling that when I'm 70 years old and going through these things, whatever I do decide to keep, I'll wish I had kept more.
Besides, I need to save some for the grandchildren, right?