Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Motherhood doesn't change you except... Part 2

One of the things I have always taken pride in is that I am not a materialistic person. Sure, I have things and if things includes running gear then yes, I have things-a-plenty. However until the birth of la cocotte, I was never attached to any material object over and above the function it served. Sure, I like my running shoes but when they have done their 800 km of running and then their year of walking then I toss them no matter how many PBs they might have run. I am not one who desires to own pretty things. I am not really interested in jewelery. If I want to look at beautiful objects I am happy to see them in a gallery or a shop window. But moreover, I don't (or didn't) attach emotion to objects. And I liked that in myself. It translates to a clutter-free life.

Then came the night of the snowstorm. We were at a friend's place for dinner, me, hubby, la cocotte and the omni-present Monsieur le Dinosaur. We took a cab home and the next morning I realized that Monsier le Dinosaur was AWOL. I contacted our friend to find out if he had spent the night at her place. He had not. Which could only mean, in my mind, that Monsieur le Dinosaur was riding around town in the backseat of cab 8761 (strangely hubby had remembered the cab number we took). As I thought of Monsieur le Dinosaur getting sat on, and dripped on with dirty boot water and worst of all, unknowingly kicked out of the cab into a nameless gutter, his innocent smile still intact despite all abuse, I truly began to feel ill. At that moment I realized I had become attached to a material object. I wasn't feeling attached on behalf of la cocotte. She was still too young to form attachments to anything except mommy & daddy. No, I was genuinely missing him and fearing his permanent loss. Me! Missing a stuffed, blue dinosaur...

Now as I evaluate all of the possessions that have come along with la cocotte in the form of gifts (many), hand-me-downs (the majority) and purchases (some), I realize I have become helplessly and hopelessly attached to these material objects. I remember when I bought her snowsuit. I picked it off a rack of a half dozen other identical, clean, inanimate, generic looking snowsuits. Throughout this winter she has imbibed that snowsuit with purpose. Through the drool, the diaper leaks, the coffee spill (mine not hers and not when she was in it), the thousands of mental and hundreds of real snapshots I have taken of her in this snowsuit she has brought life to that empty shell of a snowsuit.

I have been slowly giving away her things as she outgrows them. Since the vast majority of them were donated from erstwhile babies, it is only fair to keep passing them along to the babies downstream on this great conveyor belt of life. But it is with great reluctance that I part with each shirt, each pair of socks, each hat and yes, finally, THE snowsuit. I want to hoard and to hold and to keep that part of her history with me. I want to fill my life with the clutter that is hers. But I pack it up and ship it off and console myself with Monsieur le Dinosaur.

No comments:

Post a Comment