We’re having a baby. Yep.
So that means. . . well, it means a lot of things.
But it also means the total home reorganization/deep cleaning project has officially begun!
My OCD ebbs and flows with the piles of clutter on nearly every surface: documents to file; books to take to the office; bag after bag of GoodWill donations we hope will somehow find new life.
It’s rather a lot.
But, the fun part (aside from seeing vacant shelves for the first time in years) is the journey through…
The Keepsake Box!
To be fair, there is more than one box. In fact, this dive through every nook and cranny of our house has revealed many-a-loose-end to be rediscovered. Perhaps I should upgrade it to The Keepsake Corner. Or even The Keepsake Closet.
Anyway, it’s a weird feeling to see your life’s memories reduced to a plastic bin of seemingly useless objects.
But, sitting down on the floor of our loft, water bottle at the ready and Henry and Raja sniffing about, I dug into the dusty treasures of yesteryear.
I pawed through envelopes of photographs. I smiled at the faces of people who at one time I shared my secrets with, but have long since drifted away. I wondered what they were up to. I wondered if they had found happiness.
There were wedding and bridal shower invitations; thank-you cards; baby shower and birth announcements; letters from friends and relatives; ticket stubs; agenda books from undergrad; four pairs of eye glasses; old driver’s licenses; cards from students; journals; scrap papers with the beginnings of stories; graduation tassels; cheap plastic earrings bought at Claire’s.
It was all there. The little moments that make up a life.
I suppose we all have different “phases” that categorize our time spent on this planet. Mine might be: The High School Years; The College Years; The Philly Years; The Teaching Years. There would also be subcategories, such as: My Art; My Writing; My Travels.
I think back to each of these times, and inevitably wonder:
Could I have done things better?
Sure. I could have studied harder. I could have stuck with the clarinet instead of switching to the oboe, then the bassoon. I could have taken more art classes.
I could have settled into each moment, worrying not of the future stretched before me. I could have realized that all of those struggles, all of those worries, would one day come to pass.
But alas, things are never quite so simple.
I think no matter how old we get, we will always have a list of unknowns.
And perhaps, all we can do is to greet each day with hope.
Because all of those phases of life, all of those notebooks and drawings and plans are a part of you.
They’re a part of me.
That high school girl with her nose in the book is me.
That college girl with the bright red hair and blasting jukebox is me.
That Philly girl with the clawfoot tub and Dunkin’ Donuts addiction is me.
That teacher who danced The Harlem Shake with her drama kids is me.
I’m still here, ready for the next adventure.
I awake with a hand on my growing belly and my husband by my side.
Here we are.
We’re a family of travelers, academics, and fur babies.
And we’re ready for whatever’s next.
We’re ready to savor the simple moments that mean we’re alive.