As I sort through the remains of our built in robes, I come across some items that just jerk me right back to the moment of their use. I found my son’s old nappy bag, and remembered the weeks if not months of carting that red bag around with us, packed with all the things we needed for a newborn, then an older baby, then a toddler. Oh the multiple changes of clothes, the nappies, the nappy rash cream…..all crammed into that one bag.
Now I marvel, that he’s all grown up – well for a five year old, and we just need to cart around another bag filled with changes of clothes, for those moments when he follows in my tradition of falling into water. See I learnt from my parent’s example and always pack for this occasion – as he is like me, and has a natural attraction to all things murky, gloppy and interesting.
I also unearthed some shawls that my Mother had used for me, and that I had used for my son. Holding them, I marvel at the number of babies who have come through them, and hope that my nieces will be able to use them for their children.
These treasures have been hidden, underneath my piles of quilts, bed linen and towels, and they’re all now ready to be passed onto the next generation. These last few days have taught me not to hold onto material items for too long, that it’s the memories that will be sufficient, not the actual item.
I also have sworn a vow to my dear partner not to be like my parents, who hoarded things to the days they died. I just can’t leave that legacy behind for anyone.