Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yard sale...

Other than a few things that I've given away through the years, I have pretty much saved every tiny sleeper and onesie, every pair of shoes and every rattle from when my kids were first born. I would have given away more to family and friends, but I seemed to be the last one among us having babies. And, with Grandma Anne coming to visit from Oregon in just a few weeks (and our dire need to change her guest room, turned incidental storage room, back into a guest room), it was time to unpack the boxes and move on. It was time for a yard sale . . .

My dear friend Tonya is closing her daycare this week in order to go back to teaching in Fall. So, to purge her home of too many toys, she held a yard sale last week, and she let me join in.

The weekend prior to the sale, I finally found the courage (yes, courage . . . ) to go through my boxes, bins and totes, stuffed full with all I've accumulated over the last 6 years. As Anna rifled through piles of clothing and worked to wriggle her size 4T body into size 12 month pajamas ("look mama, it still fits"), I sorted and priced and stacked. And, I recounted all of the memories . . . .

Just as a certain smell can take you right back to a particular moment in time, seeing and holding these clothes did exactly the same thing for me. I pulled out a tiny white bathing suit appliqued with a yellow and pink flower, and it took me right back to a warm summer afternoon 3 years ago. Aunt Annie and I watched 6 month old Anna splash around in her backyard kiddie pool and we marveled at how fast she was growing. I pulled out a navy blue wool pea coat and immediately flashed back to four year old Henry sitting on the stairs in that coat, scowling and brooding impatiently (but looking SO grown up). The rest of us weren't getting our coats on quickly enough, but Henry was ready to GO!! He had money in his pocket and he was ready to pick out a Christmas gift for Papa. "Right NOW!! Let's GO!"

Everything . . . everything held a memory.

During the three days of the sale, as Tonya and I bagged items and handed them over to new owners, we both shared the stories that the clothes and shoes and toys held for us. I'm sure the buyer really didn't care, but we had to tell . . . . if for no other reason than to honor our precious memories. And being the sentimental mom's that we are, we hoped that each bathing suit and coat we sold would create a new memory with another 5 month old swimming in her wading pool, or an impatient 4 year old looking oh-so-grown-up!

I may have let go of the clothes, but the memories are all mine!

Bethany and Henry, our budding entrepreneurs, hosted a lemonade and cookie stand all three days of the sale. They really took their job seriously and earned nearly $25 each.

With his proceeds, Henry is shopping for a Legos set. This will be the first big item he will purchase with his very own money. I understand Bethany is eyeing a few items with her earnings as well . . . The kids all had so much fun, and experienced a great business lesson: sales ("LEMONADE OVER HERE!"), inventory control ("Anna, stop eating all the cookies!"), math concepts ("How much is $.50 + $.50 + $.50?"), and customer service ("thank you very much!!")

Yesterday Henry asked "Can we have another sale next weekend?"

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