When you find what you were never searching for...

Outside Myself

Outside Myself
West Coast Body, East Coast Heart, California,
January 19
Don't even have to knock...come on in.
I am now 47 and perfectly OK with that. I've been a mom for over 14 years now. I live a rather simple yet difficult life of trying to make sure my daughters are polite, well-educated and know they are loved beyond question. I do my best to give my family whatever they need. And I'm trying to take care of myself. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I am infinitely trying to make people happy, make people laugh, make people feel good about themselves. I compliment often, but only with sincerity. I spend way too much time thinking about what might be the "right" thing to do in any given situation. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This is a personal journey for me. I have grown in ways I didn't know were possible. AND AN UPDATE: Don't forget your worth. This speaks to everyone, not just me. xoxoxo ~~~~ And thx, B. My heart was beginning to thaw but your beautiful friendship has melted it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx FURTHER UPDATE: - B, darling, you have brought me love and peace. You sent the words, "Be gentle with yourself." I am able to do so only because you have been gentle with my heart. I love you, soul mate.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, it's been 18 months... So incredible to recall where I was and where your love has taken me...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, two years have passed since those first simple PMs...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now, three...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now FIVE!!! :-)


JULY 19, 2011 12:42PM

Sometimes it's Hard to Let Go

Rate: 17 Flag

When Grace was little - oh, between the ages of two and five - she used to ride on this pink and teal Big Wheel-type plastic tricycle.  I don't remember where I got it, but it was used. Thrift store? Garage sale?  Dunno. 

This little vehicle had only one plastic handlebar.  The little tassels on the end had looooong since been yanked off by the previous owner, as had the other handlebar.

I was so impressed with Grace, though - she cycled that thing around like a pro, even with only one handlebar!  I couldn't believe how she swirled around and turned the corners, speedily and deftly making each movement.

Pretty impressive for a toddler.  At least, to her adoring mom.  :-)


Fast forward to ages seven or eight or nine or 10...or now, to 11...


Mom's in clean-up mode.  I called the garbage company and scheduled one of those twice-yearly extra garbage pick-ups.  Time to gather all of the junk that has accumulated and put it in front of the house for the big, strong men to toss into the back of their big, strong crunching machines.

(Yes, I recycled whatever I could, but some stuff ya just can't...)

I asked Grace and Faith if I could discard the old, busted-up wagon and they said yes.  I asked if I could throw out the old, rusted-out bicycles and they said yes.  I asked if I could throw out the old, cracked-plastic Big Wheel-type thing and they said yes. 

(After all, it had been sitting in that busted-up wagon, summer after summer and winter after winter, for many years...)

Yesterday at work, I started to think about that Big Wheel-type thing...and how darling my little Grace looked as she ran it around the front of the house.  I was thinking of the videos that were somewhere in some cabinet, which would evidence her ability to maneuver that thing.

And I made a decision.

I was keeping that one-armed treasure.  I just couldn't part with it.

I don't know what I planned to do with it, but I couldn't let it go.  I just couldn't.  Maybe it was that mom in me (oh, geez, getting weepy again...), who doesn't want to see my girls grow up.

I wanted to cling to that piece of plastic like it was my daughters themselves.

And so, with 12 hours to spare, I went home last night and decided to take that Big Wheel-type thing out of the busted-up wagon and save it, somewhere...anywhere...

I lifted up the rolled piece of old carpet that was over it, and I lifted up the pink-and-teal plastic piece of my heart's memory, and as I grasped that one, single handlebar...it snapped off!

I just stood there, looking at the crumbled piece of ragged plastic at the end of the arm there...and realized that I just had to let it go.  It made no sense to keep it.



So this morning, I watched as the big, strong garbage men picked up the old, busted-up wagon........  And the old, rusted-out bicycles........  And then........ they picked up the old, cracked-plastic Big Wheel-type thing that had NO handlebars...


And I almost ran out and cried at them to not put it into their big, crunching machine...!


But I didn't...








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Ahhhh....so hard to let go. Easier because the handlebars were broken but still so difficult. My daughters are 30 and 33. I will never let them go but things evolve and move along and are tilled back into the earth. They are still regretting that I threw out the little people's houses they loved to play with after they had been sitting unused in the garage for a few years. You just can't save everything. But it is not easy to let go..
Sorry sweetheart...it is hard to see a piece of their childhood go. I could hear the emotion in your voice last night when we talked about the big wheel and how much you loved to watch Grace speed around it.

The physical manifestation of those fond memories is gone, that's true. You have the video but most important is what you have in your heart. And that will always, always be with you.
Yes, I know "plastic piece of my heart" sounds odd...
Smithery ~ My sweet man. Yes, I did get choked up on the phone last night as I told you about it. It surprised me so much when it broke off...! You're right, though, I will always have the feeling of watching my little girl whirling along on that little thing...
This is so sad and so full of love.
My heart is breaking as the Big Wheel is crunched.
rated with love
Zanelle - You're right - once the last handlebar broke off, well, that was the amazing piece of the toy. But still hard. Yup. Bad part is, now I probably won't throw out anything else of theirs! Thanks for understanding...
Poetess - Thank you. It did feel sad...and there is so much love tied to it, it's just difficult to explain. I feel a bit silly, but on the other hand, I just love my girls so much... And they're simply growing up. Dang it.
You have them...which is much more important.
I do understand and used to save everything. I then realized as long as I had the memory and it made me remember the happy times then I found I could let "stuff" go. Our children grow up and go away and if we are lucky we become grandparents and it only gets better. I promise..
Ach, OM: I know what you mean.

"Take another little piece of my heart now...."
OE - Oh, agreed, 100%!!

Ll2 - I have many amazing memories...but it's tough. And grandkids - wow, I can't even think about that! :-)

BR - Hi, hun. A little Janis Jolin is always good... Hurts, though, huh?
I am not a parent so plastic Big Wheel tricycles represent the most godawful noise a toddler can make. But I do understand. Mom still had my 3rd grade essays when she passed. Egads !
Awwww . . . there's no easy way to let go of such sweet memories . . . they grow up so frickin' fast!
Outside Myself,
What a heartfelt post!
AKA - So funny! You know, I had completely forgotten all about how loud that thing was! I've been seeing it in my head, just not hearing it there. Pretty funny... Moms do save some interesting stuff, don't they? I'm sure your essays were darling and well worth holding on to.

Owl - Damn straight - on both counts. :-( (PS - so good to see you!!)

Diary - First off - welcome! I know it can seem kinda goofy to get worked up over a plastic toy, so thank you for finding the heart in it all...
This is one of those sentimental decisions that I usually defer to another family member. I am hopeless when it comes to this stuff. Good to see you again, OM. R
Hold on to whatever you can of those long gone days. Hug your daughters until your arms ache.
Thoth - It was just me, darlin', and I probably wouldn't have listened to anyone else's opinions on that subject anyway. :-) And thank you - "it's good to be seen."

Scylla - I've read some of your recent posts and I thought about PMing you...but hesitated. I hope with all my heart that you're recovering as well as possible...my goodness. To your comment - Oh, believe me, my girls are SO loved and they know it every minute of every day. We are extraordinarily close. I hear you, loud and clear. Be well.
the story is your remembrance token
I'm a Mom of six and has had to let go of four "children" so far and still have two more to "let go." It doesn't get easier with experience or number of kids. There are just some Moms like us that are super sentimental. That's not a bad thing.
As much as I appreciate and can relate all too closely to the sentiment behind giving the big wheel away and how hard it is to know your babies are growing up and away, I hugely applaud how well you wrote this. You are quite a writer, OM. Reading this was just like the old days. [sigh]
Reading this made me have a few great memories of both of my kids when they were young. Loved it. And as others have commented too, that letting go is just sooooo hard sometimes - but we all survive it somehow. Thanks for making me smile.
So much love.

And a beautiful, heartfelt post, Angela.
di - That is a very good point. I'm sure some day, I will share some of these stories about them, with them.

patricia - I like the way you think. Not a bad way to be at all. I'll always be sentimental when it comes to my sweet girls...

Candace - I am entirely humbled by your comment. If you could hear me, I'd be stuttering...!

grif - Awwwww, so sweet. They're getting to age where they are more independent, which is exactly what I've tried to help them become, but it is difficult to watch it happening. Thank you for your nice comment here; it made me smile, too.

Kate - Thanks so much. So much love, indeed...
I can so relate, Angela. Now looking forward to 2 grandchildren I guess I get to do it all over again!!
Yes: the soul of that plastic thing was trying to tell you something. You haven't really gotten rid of it, you've just changed its physical location. It's still with you (and her).

Sweetly told, my dear. We've all been there, and you brought us back to revisit.
trilogy - Congratulations! Enjoy those new little ones and the exuberance of it all, all over again!

Pilgrim - I guess we never know what piece of "history" will come to mean so much... And you're right - it's all still here, in some way.
Oh, but here is so much more to come that will replace the Big Wheel. I remember the Barbie's going out the door to the thrift store ( too well loved to be worth anything). My mother teared up and I took off with my boyfriend without a glance in the rear view mirror! Life does progress. My mom saved my first prom corsage for 6 years and 4 boyfriends later. R for I get it.
Calico - Welcome! Oh, I will be saving much and holding on to more...