We’ve had a dumpster at the house for ten days now – and it’s finally filled. I’ve spent every waking moment cleaning and sorting and reducing and donating: it is incredible how much stuff is accumulated over twenty-five years in a house where six kids grow up. Incredibly amazing.
And it’s equally how amazing it feels to finally start feeling like you’re living in a lighter house – a joyful, happy house, one that’s full of the life of two little boys instead of sickness. I think that feeling is spreading in the house, and it’s giving everyone a bit of hope in starting over. We’re tearing down the old treehouse – with plans to build a new, better one in the summer. We’re clearing out dusty trinkets for room for new pictures of the new additions to the family. What a great feeling.
My sister-in-law Sarah started a “Throw away 100 things” campaign, which has infected the rest of the siblings. The one catch is that no one can bring themselves to throw away something with a face on it. It’s too much like betraying the Velveteen Rabbit: a face implies an identity, an identity implies feelings and a history and an investment that you can’t deny, no matter how ratty or faded the fabric. It even saved a paper maiche rooster from the dumpster (I deemed it trash – I was overruled.) But that’s OK – I value the principle that saves things with a face.