A couple of years ago, I can't specifically remember when now, I gave away my maternity jeans. Donated them to charity along with a motley collection of unloved sweaters, shirts and assorted crap. It was a big deal.
I actually hated them. They were never comfortable, always digging into my sides before sliding down and leaving me with a terrible case of saggy ass. But still, giving them away felt like a big step - a monumental shift in my thinking and healing.
The thing is, I'm not entirely sure it was, really.
I was thinking about this the other day, how we donated some of Thomas' things just a few weeks after he died and how it barely bothered me at all. For some reason I was able to very easily separate the sentimental from the disposable in those early, dark days. The diaper bag, boppy pillow, lotions, diapers, books, parenting magazines, and baby bathtub. They all went, and with very little difficulty.
And yet other things I still cling to with a ferocity that startles me. Tubs of clothes, toys, blankies. Little socks. A sunhat. Things. So many small, unused things.
There is no rhyme nor reason for the way I categorize his things; for what I decide can and can't go. I adored my diaper bag, but when I came home from the hospital I couldn't stand the sight of it. But the 9 billion receiving blankets, each a dime a dozen? I can't let them go.
It makes no sense.
I never liked the jeans. I wouldn't have worn them again even if I managed to get (and stay) pregnant long enough to need them. I tricked myself into thinking donating them was an achievement.
When really, it was just common sense.
And I may have done it again. The tricking bit. Because tonight, all the rest of my maternity stuff is packed away in a donation bag waiting for pick-up. All of it. A skirt, a pair of nursing jammies and several tops, including the striped one I loved and wore so much I'm surprised I didn't wear it right out.
I'm proud. I am. I've had that stuff sitting in a neat pile on a shelf in my closet for nearly four years. I couldn't see it very well and didn't look at it often, but I knew it was there. I needed to know it was still there.
But I'm smaller now than I was then. And it's not just the absence of a baby belly. All of me is smaller. I likely couldn't wear any of that stuff anyway even if I did magically find myself pregnant. It would be too big. In fact, it would have been too big if I'd tried to wear it two years ago.
But I couldn't let it go. Until today.
For absolutely no good reason, today was the day I was able to let it all go. Even though I know I never would have worn any of it again anyway.
So yeah, I know I'm kind of tricking myself again. Like the jeans.
But I'm not really sure that matters.
There's a clearer space in my brain just the same. Does it matter that the victory isn't as big as it might appear? Does it matter that I had no intention of wearing the clothes again anyway? Does it matter that the odds are stacked against me and my uterus, making the likelihood of me needing any maternity clothes pretty small?
I don't think so.
I'm crossing my arms, holding my head high, and calling it a victory.