To Save or Not to Save? That is One of the Questions

Yesterday I was forced to deal with some issues I wasn’t ready to start dealing with yet. The on-the-surface issue was what to do with my baby’s old stuff that she had outgrown and can’t use anymore. Up to this point, my modus operandi has been to keep it and decide what to do with it later. Well, my house isn’t big enough to keep accumulating the new without doing away with the old, so I was forced to make a decision.

A large Playard that I had ordered arrived yesterday, and in order to set it up, we needed to move the cradle/swing out of the way. There was literally no room left in the garage or in any closet to store it, so I caved. It had to go. We took it, along with the much-too-small bouncy chair, to a local consignment store that carries all children’s and baby stuff. And just like that, they were gone.

These items carried with them sentimental value. They were staples of my daughter’s infanthood. She started using the swing from the day we brought her home from the hospital up until just a few months ago, until her legs were hanging off the edge. This is where we soothed her when she was days, weeks, months old, and where I would place her for naps. The bouncy chair, which she grew out of even sooner, was a portable multifunctional godsend. When she was very young, we would put her in it, and place it on the kitchen table while we were in there, or in the bathroom while I took a shower, or just about anywhere in the house.

These things that I spent hours researching (finding the best and the safest and perfect this or that for my baby-girl-to-be) and adding to my registry, gone, just like that. These are more than things. They are mementos of her infanthood, which is also gone … just like that.

My infant is now a toddler.

This brings me to my other, deeper, issue. In addition to saving these things for sentimental reasons – because I have loads of keepsakes including photos, writings, baby book, and key pieces of clothing, toys, and other items that I will save for her – I may be holding onto them for “what if?” reasons. What if I decide to have another baby? And, what if that baby is a girl?

These are big what ifs.

Do we plan to have another baby? The simple answer: I don’t want to decide that right now. The long answer, which I will try to make short: It is very likely that I will not have another child. I started late and am not a young mother (young at heart, yes; young in “maternal age,” no). It’s not completely out of the question, but for this and other reasons, it may not happen.

Then again, it may. But on the small chance it does, there’s another 50 percent chance that I would have a boy in which case all those pink clothes and other things wouldn’t do me much good. And if and when the time comes, I can deal with the “stuff” later.

So, for now, I’ll only answer one of the two questions: to save or not to save? For most of this stuff that would end up just taking up room, I choose not to save. The answer to the other question will just have to wait for now.

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