Sometimes a pair of green Crocs are just a pair of shoes.
And sometimes they are so full of emotions and stuffed with feelings and hopes and dreams and fears and insecurities, they just burst at the seams. Or blow out a hole in the toe.
Both of our crazy boys wore these shoes. They lasted four summers on stinky little boy feet. They ran through mud, pushed bicycles, played chase, tromped through the river. They ran uninhibited through the splash park, they traveled to Grandma and Grandpa’s, helped Dad mow the lawn, walked over to the neighbor’s house all by themselves for the first time. They were washed and washed and washed again.
I didn’t want to give them up. I didn’t want to throw them away. I wanted to memorialize all their stinkiness for the rest of my life. Truly, I’m not an overly sentimental person, but I do become oddly attached to small pieces of my kids’ lives. Sometimes our things just have a bigger meaning and purpose than they first would appear.
Almost to the day my husband convinced me to let these go (He might lose a toe on his bike, hon), I started to notice things.
My pudgy and soft and rowdy baby put on his own pants. HIS OWN PANTS! He went to the bathroom at the grocery store and figured out the weird flushy thing ALL BY HIMSELF. There is only 10 months before he is off to preschool. There will be these glorious hours all to myself in the morning, but what will I do without my little cart pusher/bag holder/constant companion? Who will ask me for snacks and point out every truck on the planet that moves and insist that I turn up his favorite songs (Roar by Katy Perry and Holy Grail at the moment)? Who is going to pretend to be the baby kitty to my Mama Kitty?
10 months sounds so short. Ever since my second little man was born, I have dreamed of a morning to myself to get ALL THE LAUNDRY DONE or plan dinner without any interruptions or just sit on the couch and stare at the wall. But does this mean that he will stop sucking his thumb and taking pass-out naps with his arms sprawled across the bed or want me to read the same Curious George book over and over and over and over again? Does this mean that he won’t ask to help me mix any sort of food ingredient that I put in a bowl or recite all the names of the characters in Cars like they are best friends? Does this mean that he will lose his baby pudge and stop being so soft and squishy? Does this mean that he will tell me to stop when I try to kiss his oddly-giant little boy head?
When those green Crocs finally went in the trash, I felt like I threw away a little of their childhood. While everything in the newborn/toddler years feels like it is racing at the speed of light and moving at a snail’s pace all at the same time, there is part of me that wishes I could bottle up just a little bit. Bring it out at parties for a laugh or in quiet moments in the middle of the storm of their teenage years. My children are amazing and obnoxious and boisterous and rowdy and kind and maddening. The youngest still talks with a hilarious little lisp and there isn’t a second he is awake that he is quiet. My oldest asks more questions than should be possible in a 24 hour period, questions that I don’t always have the answer to.
How do you say cup in Spanish, Mom? Ummm.
Will I remember these things a few years from now? There is part of me that doesn’t even remember having newborns. Didn’t they come out this size?
Farewell, dear Crocs. There may never be another pair of shoes more well-loved or well-worn. You helped grow the hearts and minds and bodies of two little men and you broke the heart of one Mama. Just a little.
Have you held on to any of your children’s favorite toys or special mementos?
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