Featured Essay

It Finally Happened: No More Baby Gear and Gates

After an intense two-week purge of all remnants of my home daycare, which I officially closed in June, I realized quite suddenly that I was there -- free of all traces of anything baby. No more baby gear and gates. No more high chairs or cribs. No more infant chew toys or baby saucers. No more baby latches on cabinets. Just a house tailor made for my school-aged -- my youngest is a rising kindergartner -- children. And it has left me with such contradictory feelings, I'm not sure whether to cheer or cry. At first I was excited by the idea. We were finally able to create that special big kid arts and crafts nook we wanted. We were able to put out some more delicate decor. My husband was able to move some of his stuff out of the garage and into the basement. Our options were not limited by the steady stream of infants, toddlers and preschoolers coming into our home. What I didn't realize was that by removing all traces of my daycare, I was also saying goodbye to that stage of life. I was saying goodbye to bald-headed snugly babies. I was saying goodbye to witnessing first steps and first teeth. I was letting go of all the baby things from my own kids that I stealthily hung on to under the guise of needing for my daycare kids. I love that my kids are at an age where we can hop in the car and go somewhere without too much planning or lugging of gear or supplies. I love that my kids can sit around the table and tell me stories or share in jokes. I love that my kids can express their distinct personalities and keep us on our toes -- for reasons other than learning to use the potty or potentially falling down the stairs. Yet, for some reason it was more difficult than I thought.  I know it's just things. Bulky things that were often stained and well worn. But, it still stung all the same. I almost couldn't look when my husband loaded the stroller into the car for the last time. Right now, my house and family is going through many transitions. I am working … [Read More...]

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