Back in 2007, hubby and I knew that we would probably be moving within a few years. (We did…in 2009.) Since we had already moved eleven times in ten years, and lost some things that were important along the way, I decided to pack up some of the more sentimental items so that 1) they would not be lost, and 2) so they would be out of the way while I went through the non-precious stuff and got rid of the junk.
I was meticulous about labeling. It is so frustrating to look for something you packed away, only to be confronted with a scene like the warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark. So I started with box #1, put the date February 8, 2007 at the top, and listed what was in it. The first box was easy. I had a small collection of “Princess of the World” Barbie dolls. I had dreams of them being a “special toy” I might sometimes let my children play with, under supervision. My oldest was eight at the time. She had no interest in Barbies, and was the kind of child who would have quickly scattered every piece to the four winds, never to be found again.
Fast forward to 2014, and we have about twenty boxes in our basement. Genealogy material, diplomas, and other things that hold sentimental value but don’t necessarily need to be out and accessible on a daily basis. They’re still boxed because our house is a never-ending fixer-upper. These things might just stay in the boxes until we move back to Colorado someday.
Last week, my younger daughter mentioned she wanted more Barbie dolls to go with the few she has. I remembered that I had the princesses, and I went to look for the box.
Thanks to OCD labeling, it was easy to find and easy to take out of the pile.
Then I looked at the date.
February 8, 2007.
Nine months before my youngest daughter was born.
Hubby and I tried for ten and a half years to get pregnant. After many different treatments, it finally worked in mid February, 2007.
Today, I gave my daughter the princess dolls. I watched happily as she reverently pulled each one out of the box, eight in all. I told her that these used to be Mommy’s, but they are now hers. She can play with them however she wants. Daddy helped her unpackage them all (quite a challenge) and she immediately began organizing them. She put the play passports and other papers that came with each one into a small box, and removed the stands from each doll. I have her a plastic bin designed for daily medicine, and she took each princess’ shoes off and neatly put them away. I’m not sure if the dolls are naked yet…I haven’t checked in the last half hour…
There are a lot of precious things in the basement, packed away in boxes. They say if you can go a year without using something, you probably don’t need to keep it. That’s good advice, and I know I’m a pack-rat by nature. For now, it puts my mind at ease knowing that the “important” stuff is safe. We have remodeling to do, and junk to sort out and throw away.
In the meantime though…I might take another look at these boxes, and see if there’s something else whose time will pass by as my kids grow up so fast.