Aiden doesn’t waste his time putting things away. There is a video game calling his name most days. When we make him clean his room, he’s done in lightning fast speed. At first, we are amazed at how clean it looks. We later discover clothes thrown into the closet, things under the bed, and random pieces of toys stuffed behind his chalkboard.
Last weekend, after a marathon of watching “Hoarders”, I decided we needed to get rid of some of Aiden’s things. He has almost 10 years worth of toys plus 16 years of hand me downs from Josh. Twenty-six years of “stuff” is too much.
Telling him it will be “fun” and I will help doesn’t get him excited. He sighs, rolls his eyes and asks me how long it’s going to take.
I look around at the bright green room that my Dad and I painted when Aiden was just a baby. I see the fun cork floors and the bright picture hanging on his wall that Josh painted as a small child. I look on the shelves and see all the toys and games that I handpicked them for each special occasion.
I’m not ready to part with it.
Aiden is anxious to get this over with and sits on the bed as I start to pull things out. I tell him to answer quickly so we can be done. I tell him how nice it will look when we’re finished. He doesn’t care. I hold up item by item and he tells me to get get rid of almost all of it.
We move onto the clothes and I notice he has more shirts than he will ever wear. He probably only needs two or three because he only grabs what is on the top. He never feels the need to change things up. He’s content.
Wish I was more like him.
The pile is growing and growing and we are barely saving anything. I think about all of the money we’ve spent. It’s almost sinful. I ask him if he’s sad that we are getting rid his “stuff”. He answers me with…
“No, Mom…I never asked for any of this.”
Ouch. It hit me like a punch. I look at all the toys that I liked. Maybe I’ll play more with my kids if they look nice on the shelves. Maybe if his room looks like a magazine, I will go in and spend more time playing with him.
Truth is, most of their lives, I didn’t. I was too busy working or too tired to just go in and play. So every opportunity, I bought more “stuff” hoping it would help me spend more time with them.
Truth is that he never did ask for any of it. He’s happy just talking with me or watching movies with me or even just going outside to kick a ball around. Your right Aiden…we don’t need the “stuff”. All we need is each other. All the “stuff” takes up too much of our time.
Looking for it…
Putting it away….
I wasted precious years looking for the perfect gift that was right in front of my face.
I hope he’s not disappointed at the small piles of “stuff” in the years to come. Instead, we will do more one-on-one dates with each other. So he feels how special he truly is.
That is the best gift of all.