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Summer holidays and nostalgia

24th July 2017

D finished his first year at school last week, and E finished her first year at pre-school. That year absolutely flew by! I remember this time last year, when D finished at pre-school and E at her old nursery, and thinking “wow, I’m going to have a school-aged child soon”. I remember D’s first day of school and feeling sad because I couldn’t be present, and due to working full-time I can count on one hand how many times I’ve actually been to his school. That said, I’ve not been to E’s at all this year.

As a result, I felt a bit odd retiring D’s first uniform – I managed to drag it out to last the whole year, despite his tops really being a bit too small. I was thinking while putting this all away – I feel a like I missed a lot, what with having his grandparents and childminders and all sorts taking care of his school needs rather than me while I’m at work :(

I was recently asked if I’ve kept any of the kids’ old things as keepsakes, and I seem to surprise people when I say that no, I haven’t kept anything. I thought about keeping their first sleepsuits or their first shoes or something like that, but then I thought … why? It’ll just go into the loft and get all dusty and forgotten about. I’d rather those clothes get recycled and reused by another child. Similarly, I’ve got rid of a lot of old toys and other baby items such as cots, prams, pushchairs, etc. I usually have attachment/nostalgia issues with a lot of things, but with the kids’ stuff? Nope! So I sold a lot of that on, or gave it away. No point keeping it here for little reason other than for memories; I have pictures, videos and the kids themselves for that.

“But what if you ever have grandchildren?” was one response I got when I talked about this. This one especially stuck with me.

  1. I might not have grandchildren. It’s not up to me whether my children have their own children!
  2. If I do have grandchildren, I am sure their parents will already have toys and clothes for them, as I did for my own children. And if they don’t? There are lots and lots of bundles being sold on Facebook and ebay and the like, along with people like myself who gave a lot of it away to good homes for free. I’m sure there will be no difficulties getting something at the time.
  3. If I kept old things in the loft for 20-30 years, it may be dirty, dusty and possibly dangerous for a child. I’m all for keeping valuable and/or timeless toys such as Lego and Duplo and stuff like that – those sorts of things are easily cleaned and disinfected. But soft toys and clothes? Not so sure about those.

Aside from all that, we’re now looking forward to the summer holidays. We’ve booked a family break which we’re very excited about – it’ll be our first proper trip abroad as a family. We’ve been abroad before as part of a wider group, but this’ll be the first time it’s just us! Part of me can’t wait, the other part wonders whose idea it was to book a trip so far from home with a 3 and 5 year old…! Send help!