All the junk that collected under the snow and the now-sodden leaves from last fall makes the outside world look like it needs a good washing. Now, think of a spring rain. As it falls, it carries away the dirt and the grit and the grime. It leaves behind a clean slate that’s ready for the fresh greens of spring.
The custom of spring cleaning is an imitation of nature’s seasonal house cleaning. The weather is finally warm enough to throw open the windows. The sunlight and the fresh air remind us that now is the time to get rid of all of our own dirt and junk that has accumulated during the cold and dark of winter.
In my house, that’s a lot of junk. You can’t believe the stuff that accumulates with four little ones. Developmental toys, parts and pieces of games, board books, broken crayons, markers long-since dried out. Baby blankets, soft toys, dolls, and piles of stuffed animals that somehow keep getting bigger. Then there are the piles of outgrown clothing, shoes, and accessories. (Please tell me, how did the time go by so quickly?) When it comes to this stuff, there isn’t a stage that I don’t adore. Newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, one year. I swear, by now I’m capable of starting my own Salvation Army Surplus Store.
I admit it, I’m a collector. I’m also unabashedly sentimental. I have a penchant to pack away everything in order to save it from the dumpster, the recycling center, and the second-hand store. In the wee hours of the night, I’ll gently unpack a box of old baby clothes, hold them to my heart, and reminisce about the old days. And then the tears are unleashed. My husband always says that if we lived in a smaller house, I could qualify as a true hoarder. He says it with love, but if I’m honest about my “collecting” tendency, it might be more than a little true. I think saving stuff is my way of trying to stop time from stealing away the present and turning it into the past.