Monday, December 17, 2012

Almost Like An Episode of Hoarders!


This weekend was one when I was very grateful not to have a television. I know that if I did have a TV, I probably would have stayed glued to it all weekend listening to the coverage of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Even reading about it online was so upsetting. All weekend, my mind was never far from the victims and their families.
The girls, of course, are blissfully unaware. I decided not to tell Paprika. If she finds out at school (which I don't think she will), then that is one thing. But for now, I just want her to keep her innocence and not stir up anxiety in her little soul. She is so sensitive, I know how upset and scared she would be. I talked to her teacher and several other parents, as well as the school psychologist (this morning), and all are in agreement with me. We are not telling the kindergarteners about what happened. There is no need to plant that fear into their brains...not at this young and tender age.


I know a bunch of people are scared to send their kids to school. Talking about homeschooling. Never letting their kids out of their sight for a moment. I know this is a pretty natural reaction to have. But it will pass.

For me, I guess (and hope this doesn't sound insensitive) - once you've had a child die inside your body, no place seems safe for your child.  Vivian and Annemarie both died in what many would say is the safest, closest place a child could be.  My cousin Steven died in a car accident.  So, for me, there is no illusion of safety even when I am with my kids. I always realize something could go terribly wrong. For me, it's about understanding that none of us are promised more than this moment, and that ultimately, we just have to Let Go (as easy as that sounds, it can be quite hard).

I do want my girls to be safe. But I can't bubble wrap them. I want their schools to be secure, but I don't want them to be a prison. Because even when schools are secure, bad things can still happen. I do worry about drop-off playdates because of guns being in the house or other that's why I don't really let my kids go over to people's houses when I'm not there. So, on one hand I do understand the fear and on the other hand, I try not to let it rule my life. It's a balance.

Needless to say, I was thinking of the families all weekend, and grieving their losses. I would look at Facebook or the news for a little bit, and then I would have to stop because it was just so awful and I was trying to sort through the information, the misinformation, and everyone's political agendas...when all I really wanted to do was pray for the families.


Paprika had been asking to go to see a dance production put on by our local school of dance and music, so I decided last minute to take her to see it. It was the best thing I could have done to lift my spirits. The production was a ballet performance of "How The Grinch Stole The Nutcracker." The kids in the show were between the ages of 3 and 17.


Paprika brought her little Nutcracker from last year's Los Angeles Ballet production of  The Nutcracker to the show. Everyone thought she was so cute. We got there early to get a good seat - it was open seating and we ended up 8th row, Center. Score!


The production was beautiful, and it was hard to keep from crying at how sweet and innocent the little dancers were. They were also REALLY good, too! I admit, I had very low expectations for the show - and so I was pleasantly surprised when the performance was essentially like a professional ballet.


It was so refreshing to be at the show with Paprika and see the magic in her eyes.  At the end, the auditorium started "snowing" and she was so excited!  It's the little things...


My not so fun project this weekend was sorting through baby clothes to give to charity.  I needed to organize what I'd like to keep (one bin for each size) - and anything "extra" is being sent off to help someone who can really use it.  The amount of baby clothes we have is mammoth.  When I got it all out of the garage, it was almost like walking into an episode of Hoarders.  I know it sounds silly, but I was on the verge of insanity when I contemplated the scope of this project.  It was so overwhelming to sort through all of the clothes, and really, I just wanted to put everything in a bag and send it away.

I have a lot of emotional attachments to my girls' clothes.  When I hold an article of clothing, I remember Paprika at the park when she was two, or Ginger coming home from the hospital, or Violet last Christmas when she was a newborn.  I didn't want to let go of those clothes quite yet, so I had to make some choices.  This all sounds really superficial especially in light of Friday's events, but in the moment, it seemed so hard.

I know that all of this stuff is just STUFF and to let it go and be free of it.  On the other hand, I did want to be smart about keeping things Ginger and Violet will use as they grow (that's my frugal side).  It was a big job (this picture is just a fraction of the stuff).  But after a lot of sorting and folding and deciding, it was DONE.  Many boxes with neatly folded and freshly laundered baby clothes will be going to charity, and that makes me happy!


The rest of the weekend, we just spent time together as a family. The girls went to the park and went bike riding with Mr. M while I worked on the massive clothing sort.


Just when I thought I couldn't sort clothing any longer, we went out to eat on Saturday night as a family at a new restaurant (we had a coupon). It was a little bit of a disaster because Baby Violet was tired and kept dropping the ketchup bottle on the floor and the nice couple next to us kept picking it up and giving it back to her. It was a 10 second loop and I just wished they'd stop picking it up.  Then, when we took the ketchup bottle away from Violet, she went nuclear. 

I keep reminding myself that this time of life is a season, and one day we'll be picking up a ketchup bottle for another young family and laughing about when that was us.  ;-)

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Erika, I laughed at the bit about Violet going nuclear! Haven't heard that expression this side of the pond, but it's very funny! We could be the family picking it up, but I guarantee you not more than twice!
The tragedy is on everyone's mind, I was at a Carol service yesterday in Dublin, Ireland and we prayed for everyone.
Your philosophy is good, I think. You can't wrap them in bubble wrap, and we are only guaranteed this moment, so we have to make the most of it. Take care, enjoy your moments with your 3 beauties!