As our children grow and change, so does the gear they require. For some, getting rid of the ‘baby stuff’ is a happy rite of passage, but for others, it’s a sign of all that is behind them in their parenting journey. One writer shares with PLN the baby essential that was hard to give up because it meant she was leaving the baby years behind.
Seven years ago I took my first walk with you. You were two days old and I still couldn’t believe you were mine. I remember the morning well; it was my first time pushing a stroller.
It felt so strange and conspicuous and magical. I felt like everyone must be in awe of us as we walked along together – you so new and me so changed.
It felt a little bit like make believe as we walked down the sidewalk together. You fell asleep while we walked. It was the first of thousands of walks together.
The day came when I switched you from the bassinet to the big boy seat. I couldn’t believe how big you were. We kept on walking.
One day I turned your seat around from looking at me to looking at your world and I marveled at how you had grown.
We kept on walking.
One day you climbed in on your own and I wondered if you would enjoy being a big brother.
Soon you gave up your seat and jumped onto the skateboard. We watched a new little one fall asleep in the bassinet. Now you could ride your bike and run and keep up, but you kept hopping back on for a ride.
We kept on walking.
Our stroller started to creak and moan as its load grew heavier with each day.
Eventually, I found myself pushing a stroller full of jackets, snacks, and water bottles while two boys ran around exploring the world. Full of energy and then giving into the stroller on the walk home.
As months wore on the stroller stayed home more and more until eventually, it didn’t make sense for it to take up valuable real estate in our hallway. Our beloved stroller took up residence in the garage, but I wasn’t ready to part with it- this tangible symbol of my motherhood.
When I look at this old stroller I see so much: your dad assembling it in our tiny basement apartment. Your tiny body asleep in the shade. The laughing toddler eating Cheerios. My two boys watching the world go by.
We walked with it together.
And now our stroller sits on a curb, and my eyes start to glisten. A new stage of life with little boys soon-to-be little men and a stroller left behind. The first casualty on the road to adulthood.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.