Silver Lining

**I want to apologize in advance for the scary picture of me. It's just the only picture I had of me with my Holly Hobbie doll**

There weren't many playthings that I was attached to when I was growing up. Frankly, I didn't play with toys. From the time I was one year old, I pretended to go to school. I'd carry books around & wave good-bye & say 'school'. I colored, sketched, cut paper, pretended to be a receptionist, a teacher, played house, and read. I wasn't in to Barbie. At all. She wasn't my scene. However, I did have a rag doll that I was particularly found of. It was a Holly Hobbie doll that I received for my 3rd birthday. The only 'frill' that doll had was, if you pulled the bow on her hat, her eyes would close. And if you pulled the bow in the other direction, they opened. I ADORED that Holly Hobbie doll.
After the divorce, we moved. A lot. And that doll, with all of the rest of my belongings, always seemed to get lost in the shuffle. With each move, more things were gone. Until the point where there was nothing left of my childhood. And I distinctly remember upon turning the ripe-old age of 8, that I told myself it was time to give up all of 'that kiddy' stuff. I guess so that when more things ended up missing, I could deal. The only artifacts of the so-called childhood I had were things that I managed to keep myself. Things like, a piece of driftwood that my dad found on a beach and drew a rainbow and pot of gold on for me. (Which today hangs above the doorway in my kitchen and has faded over the years to where you can barely make out the picture), the small, tan stone that he found & gave to me that just happened to be in the shape of a heart, an arrowhead that I found on the farm when Dad & I were walking the fields, small little trinket boxes that he gave me, etc. These are things that I hold on to as if they were the finest of fine artifacts. And well, they are.

It has occured to me, when looking around my home that, because there's nothing from the Golden Age of Tabitha's youth, that I hold onto everything that my kids have touched. I have every craft that Connor has done since he started preschool..two years ago. I keep almost every pair of shoes, baby blankets, their little baby towels, locks of hair, their hospital bracelets. You name it, I've saved it (I do draw the line at saving the umbilical cord...I can't handle that).
I feel that I've gone to the extreme, though. There are just some things I need to let go of. If I keep everything that pertains to my children, I'll need a house the size of.....well, Delaware (haha).
I wish that I didn't have this crazy need to over-compensate with my children, for all of the things I lacked. Case in point....remember that Holly Hobbie doll I mentioned? I just had to get that for Gracie. Yup. I'm sick. I found the exact same doll on ebay & bought it. And honestly, she could care two squats about it. Truth-be-told, I used her as a 'beard'. I say I bought it for her, but really bought it to reconcile something inside of me.

I guess it comes down to now that I have children of my own, I see how important it is to reconcile all of this crap. I need to let it go. There aren't many out there who know, the full extent of what has happened so many years ago. And many would say, it's old news, ancient history. It's long gone and done. Why are you still hanging on?? To which I'd have to say that it needs to be purged. The only way I can move forward in a healthy, productive way - for my children, for my husband, and for myself is to give it it's fair due. Finally. After all of these years. I ran from it all for so long. And today, I finally feel strong enough to take it on. And that only came about from being a mother.

Maybe I'll get strong enough to pitch some of the things I don't 'need' to hang on to. Maybe I won't. But tonight I think I can go to sleep for the first time, in two decades, knowing that I finally have found the strength within myself that I've been searching for. And I have found it by looking into my children's eyes.

9 ripples in the pond:

jen said...

tab, your dad is seriously hot in the cowboy picture. Three Dog Night Dad.

Love it.

And you, you are a peach. A sweet ripe peach in the sun.

Oh, The Joys said...

What a great post.

...and Jen's right, your dad had it goin' on! (and you too are a supa-hotty hotwell mojamba!)


You should tell him he's lighting up the internet!


Tabba said...

He IS a hotty hot hotty....my cute little dad. Thanks, gals :)!!

Joker The Lurcher said...

rings bells with me. i left my mum when i was 8 to live with my dad and quite a lot of stuff got left behind as i wasn't the one who packed up my stuff. i especially missed a little black velvet cat that my mum had made me.

i found when my son was born it raked up huge issues - min particular how on earth had my mum managed to give me away - i would have killed anyone who tried to take my son whereas my mum didn't oppose my dad's custody application. she's dead now and i never had the conversation with her about all this.

i'm not sure all this stuff ever leaves you. i've come to terms with it being part of me and making me who i am. love your blog!

Ravioli said...

Hey! I'm in a picture there too. What am I, chopped liver?
Whatever! Friggin Idiot!

Ravioli said...

In case no one got my reference, I wasn't calling anyone a friggin idiot, it was a quote from napolean dynamite.Sorry if there was any confusion

Jon said...

Ravioli, I was totally offended by your comment. I thought you were calling me a frigging idiot, and it hurt my feelings. And you know what else hurts my feelings, the fact that neither you nor Tabba told me how stupid I look in that turtleneck I work to NY. The coffee stain won't come out, but seeing me looking all goofy in it, it's probably for the best. I'm going to go cry now.

Pippajo said...

"Holly Hobby Day and Night, when you pull her pretty bows just right, her eyes can open and close each day, you can change her dress, it's time to play!"

My sister, Dharma had this doll and she LOVED it too! That's how I still know the jingle. She talks about her Holly Hobby doll all the time. I used to steal it and sit opening and closing her eyes, mesmerized.

I think it's so many kinds of awesome that you got that doll for Gracie.

And your posts lately have been hitting me square between the eyes. Brace yourself for similar musings on my own blog very soon.

I love reading your stuff.

Slackermommy said...

I loved Holly Hobby too. My Holly Hobby lunchbox was my most prized possessions. I kept all my secret trinkets in it.

I keep a lot of my kid's stuff too. I even keep my pregnancy sticks. I also find myself giving my kids what I didn't get as a kid. And not just material things but the hugs and kisses, dance classes, listening to them, going to all their sports and school events.