Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Bye Spring

This weekend I said a few silent good byes and closed the door on yet another fabulous Spring. I had my first (and probably my LAST) garage sale. I sold all the baby stuff. As I unfolded each little baby outfit I was actually quite focused on the task of sorting, pricing, and setting up the sale. Only a couple of times did the faint scent of the clothes remind me of my little babies. The pace of the garage sale on Friday morning was frightening and didn't allow me to wallow in what could have been a melancholy moment.

At 7:30 a.m. I drove out into the neighborhood to find good corners for my signs pointing the way to my house. People followed me home and waited in front of my house for me to open the doors. By 8:10 I had sold all the big items! One particular family touched me. It was a young man and woman. The woman was so pregnant and round she wobbled and hobbled up my steep driveway and I literally thought, "Please don't let her water break."

They quickly put themselves to work digging through the baby toys and making a small stack of things they'd like to purchase. They spoke not a word to each other, but would hold things up then make eye contact. The look was different than the other scavengers. Rather than the hungry, foraging look of some of the other garage-salers they had a sweet sparkle. Each time I could have sworn they were communicating to each other something like, "Oh our baby would love this."

Unlike all the others I had dealt with they didn't haggle over the prices. As if to say, nothing is too good for our baby. (I know what you're thinking, but consider the circumstances.) But then the man noticed the bike my husband had decided to let go. If you know my husband you know the bike was WAY expensive and loaded with all types of fancy gear. While it was older, it was in fantastic shape and Steve resigned himself to pricing it at $50.

Call me a sucker, but when the man asked if he could pay $10 I folded and practically rushed to send him home with the screaming yellow bicycle AND more baby toys. Why did this little couple evoke such an unusually strong emotional response from me? I put it out of my mind and sped through the day wheelin' and dealin' my way to about $300.

Then on Saturday evening Steve and I went to a concert at a beautiful and legendary mountain amphitheater. Believe it or not, the performers were Allison Krause and Robert Plant. The music was incredible and the night was perfect. At one point I looked up to see the dark blue canopy of clouds sprinkled with stars and felt myself kiss goodbye the longest day of the year and more. The surprisingly soulful renditions of old favorites serenaded my mood out of me. I was kissing goodbye -- as if tucking them in for a long, long sleep -- the babies I had. Little boys now, babies never more.

I don't know the circumstances of the young couple who bought all of our old toys and clothes. But this summer she will kiss the dark and downy top of her baby's head and pray to remember the smell forever. Oh sweet mommy. Let our things help you love and entertain and protect your little one and in so doing, keep a little bit of our babies in our hearts forever.

PHOTO NOTE: Mason trying to fit in every last minute he can with toys slated for the sale.


lera said...

Oh, it will be a sad day when I get rid of baby toys. I used to keep EVERYthing, including ALL baby clothes. Right before I had Sawyer I realized how ugly and nasty that stuff was and that there was no way in this world I would dress my sweet baby in that garbage (most of it was given to our children and I felt obligated to make them wear it). I donated all the too-ugly-for-MY-baby stuff.

I haven't gotten rid of any toys yet ... I dread that day.

Glenda said...

You brought tears to my eyes, again. For I know that you will have such feelings over and over again as you close doors onstages of life as you move on raising those two sweet boys. I still do for my own babies, and now I am repeating some of those feelings with my grandchildren.
The evening at the concert...perfect. "Be Still and Know..."

grandma GiGI said...

I shed tears too..every mother knows that feeling and now, at our age, we share it with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Our greatest joy is to see our family happy, well and cared for,and become loving parents too. When they sorrow there is not a lot we can do about it but pray for them, and we do a lot of that.

laurel said...

How sweet Julia! I am sure that little couple went home, so grateful for your kindness. Children, somehow, bring out the best in all of us. I guess it is true what the Savior said, "Blessed are the little children." They do bring out the best in us. Just looking at MAson's little soft cheeks and Cooper's sweet little smile, make me soften and feel a little peace. Babies and children are miracles.