Beautiful, tiny, gone

MZ archives, June 2007

“Why are you wearing those sandals?”

“Because they are so beautiful.”

“But they don’t fit.”

“But I want them.”

Do you want things, wear things, even if they don’t fit,  just because they are so beautiful?

My Girl from the East, who is four, is sitting on the floor trying to stuff her size 8 toddler feet into size 6 sandals. She doesn’t want to let go, much like the middle-aged woman who cooks her meals and drives her to school. That woman, who happens to be me,  also tries on beautiful things that don’t fit and insists on keeping them for irrational reasons.

In spite of these emotions, I purged her closet and mine and formed three piles on the floor: toss, donate and sell. She didn’t look twice at the jumpers and rompers and sun suits in the donate pile. Some things in the sell pile stirred feelings.

Like the white faux leather sandals accented by red and green butterflies. They were a favorite. When my Girl saw them on the floor, she immediately yanked off her socks and stuffed her feet into them. She walked in them for a few minutes, denying that the toe and heel overhang bothered her. (I know it did.) Then she sat on the couch (I’m sure as a way to avoid the feeling of walking in them) outstretched her legs and stared at them as if they were long-lost friends.

I know what she’s doing. She’s reminiscing. Those sandals, along with their scuff marks and wear, hold memories of summers gone by. I’m saying good-bye to the baby who became the toddler who is now a preschooler.  I’m putting the past in bags and boxes and getting it out of my life. Show’s over, folks. Time to toss, donate or convert to cash that which no longer serves a purpose.

I felt a little bad tugging the sandals off her feet. As I scrubbed them with a Magic Eraser and tucked them into the plastic bin marked for the consignment shop, I talked with her a little about growing up and letting go.

I know how she feels. I have my bag of things that don’t fit. I have my own issues of wanting what’s beautiful but no longer serves a useful purpose. After our chat, I grabbed the skinny jeans that won’t budge past my knee caps and threw them back on the donate pile. You see, I’d pulled them off the donate pile and sneakily stashed them on the staircase, with visions of saving them for when they’d fit again.

We made peace with the idea that newer, bigger, more beautiful things are out there. We can’t wait to find them.

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