I’ve been quiet on the blog lately – I would start to write, get distracted and fall farther behind. I kept looking for an easy segue back in to writing but the longer I went the harder the idea of just jumping back in became. So today I am pulling off the band-aid. That perfect segue will never come. Let’s just pretend I never paused. Deal
It’s been a season of change in our home. In the past month my youngest turned 3 and started morning preschool. My oldest will be turning 5 later this month and is gearing up to start kindergarten just a couple shorts weeks later. I’ve been transitioning from full time stay at home mom with full time 24/7 kid responsibilities every day to having a few hours a few times a week all to my (terribly excited) lonesome. And while I am enjoying the little break in responsibility (the first time in 5 years that I’ve had any unstructured me time to look forward to on a weekly basis) I’ve always been a bit emotional when it comes to endings. I am the mom who got choked up when their child outgrew the Gymboree class. And I got the down faced blues when we decided to pull the plug on swim classes because “he’ll miss all his friends!” Spoiler alert: He was 3. He missed NO ONE. I surprised myself with how I managed through my son’s preschool graduation without shedding a tear but on the other hand I only took about 3057 photos so I don’t know if that really qualifies as “keeping my cool.” And today I am here lamenting a stroller.
Let me back up – On top of the more obvious life changes I discussed above, this past week I sold my double stroller. Most of my baby items have left my hands with little fanfare. The bouncy seat moved on to serve one of my childhood friend’s two babies. That was the first “big” baby item I passed on and I admit it stung a bit. But slowly more and more items were outgrown and handed on and the decluttering began to feel liberating. Basinet, gone. High chair, donated. Our crib, complete with bite marks (584 days of captivity and counting!), came down and moved cross town to house another friend’s little girl. Baby toys, donated. All their itty bitty clothes (minus a few outfits I held on to for
crazy mom obsession old time’s sake) have been sprinkled to friends, goodwill and family services. I admit I still have a single stroller (or two) in my garage but the double stroller has been an emotional good-bye. Emotions aside, there is NO doubt at all – no longer needing a double stroller is a step towards freedom.
I didn’t realize how freeing it would be until we started ditching it on the regular. As much as I’d like to find that pause button for my children as our oldest rounded out his preschool career it was clear it was the right time for our
family to part with the stroller. It stopped being necessary for trips to the mall. The kids wanted to walk when we’d go downtown. I had even stopped using it on big day trips. Our last couple visits to Disneyland (ask me sometime about last month’s trip where B had an epic tantrum on the tram from the parking lot and C got his head stuck in a railing. Good times!) I opted for umbrella stroller and a Tula carrier. It was freeing. It was easy (well, except for the aforementioned tantrum moments in which case I think the more appropriate form of transportation may have been a la Hannibal Lector style.) And if I could do Disney without my husband AND without the extra seat then it made it clear that we had passed out of the double stroller as a necessity stage. Having two kids who are old enough to walk unassisted and follow directions generally well in places like, I dunno, parking lots, fast moving crowds, busy streets etc etc is a welcome step down from the stage 10 alert I had to be for the last few years. But again with the parental paradoxes, as much as I enjoy this new found freedom, it still tugs at my sappy mother heart.
Despite having only used the double stroller a few times in the last 4-5 months I had that major hit to the heart when it was time to say goodbye. Maybe it’s because I blinked and my oldest suddenly was “too old” for a stroller. He has started to look silly with his long lanky legs folded up to fit the seat. Or maybe that his little brother is right there behind him, running faster, playing harder trying his best to catchup to his brother and never wanting to sit down and be pushed. Maybe it’s just the memories of my two babies in this stroller – That what felt like only yesterday was really a couple years ago. Things are getting easier. And that’s good. The fog has lifted. I’m looking more rested. The kids dress themselves. Brush their own teeth. Get their own snacks. I have a few mornings free each week to GTL (Gym, *Target*, Laundry). But endings make me sad. And all of these “easier” moments mark the end of that first phase of parenting. My babies aren’t babies. As I said, I’ve always been a bit emotional when it comes to endings. And this is the beginning of an ending that for so long felt so far. So don’t mind me as I sit back and look at three years of stroller photos, k? I generally wouldn’t encourage anyone to take advice from Bobby Brown but let’s just go ahead and agree that
I don’t need permission
Make my own decisions
That’s my prerogative
He was talking about obsessing over your kids outgrowing a stroller, right?
Happy Trails Double Stroller. Hope you have fun with your new family! xoxoxo – Us.