Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

And so it turns, and so it burns

Of all the lessons I have learned

Most salient is that

You can’t go back

I wrote that about twenty years ago. At that particular time, I was pining away for a boy who treated me like crap and was deeply in love with being tragically in love. It was catchy though, so I’ve remembered the verses, if not the boy. It’s been going through my mind a lot because of the high chair sitting in my garage..errrr…gym.

To understand this, it would probably help to know something about me, which is that everything I have ever ‘let go’ of has had deep claw marks in it. It’s just not easy for me to let go of ANYTHING. Maybe it’s a fear of commitment, maybe it’s a fear of needing something and not having it, maybe it’s just a fear of being sad, but I hold onto things and relationships way beyond what is practical and/or good for me sometimes.

Just the other day, Dreamy was genuinely curious about my conversational exchange with someone who has proven themselves to be generally untrustworthy and by all external evidence not that nice of a person. My response? “I keep people in my life who’ve done a lot worse to me than what [THAT PERSON] did. That’s just what I do!” Not to say I trust these people, or that I’ll schedule coffee, but I guess I still have trouble letting go of my faith in people’s potential.

I know, I know, there’s a group for that, and I’m not denying my co-dependent tendencies. I have made great strides in eliminating what I call the psychic vampires from my life. Like all things, though, it’s progress not perfection. Not to mention, I was forgiven for things I did and said during a time when I was completely unlovable and it seems uncharitable not to do the same. Now, in the situations where the evil-doers have not ever shown remorse and I still keep them around in some form, that is probably something I do need a meeting for.

However, the high chair has never stolen from me, lied to me, or betrayed me, so it’s totally not the same thing at all. At the core of it, I have not gotten rid of the highchair, because I have pictures of #NoBen and #StopThatAiden eating their 6 month ‘birthday’ cake in it. I performed all their haircuts except the most recent in THAT CHAIR. I also have fond memories of Gabi (our first au pair) and me laughing that this was the third highchair we acquired and finally one we liked. And once I get rid of it, I will never have a highchair in my house again.

There are two types of people in the world: The ones who read this and think (maybe with a little tear) of the ‘things’ they’re holding on to and the sentimental value attached and the other people (like Dreamy) who are shouting “Come on already! If you’re not using it, it’s just taking up space! It’s junk! LET IT GO!” Dreamy actually dons a blue bathrobe and twirls around singing ‘let it go’ at me to make me see reason. Actually, no. He doesn’t and never would, but it’s a stunning visual, no?

But this un-letting-go-ness has resulted in me keeping about 20 journals from some of the more tumultuous times in my life, a bathing suit I really liked twelve years (and twenty pounds) ago, a  sweatshirt from the university I actually attended and one from a university I didn’t attend, but that is really comfy. All that might be manageable, but throw kids into the mixture and it’s a whole new episode of Hoarders!

So far, I have two huge containers of shoes and clothes and even art that the kids made in the last five years. At this rate, in two more  years I’ll need to rent a storage unit. The weird thing is, I’m NOT one of those Moms who’s sad that her kids are growing up. Much. I am not a baby person, as I’ve said repeatedly, and as far as I’m concerned, this whole parenting gig only gets better with age. Bisky is a joy, and now that I can sit on her bed while SHE reads ME stories, it’s a whole different kind of joy. Actually exchanging ideas with my kid instead of just stuffing food in one end and wiping it up on the other is way more rewarding.

And I’m falling more and more in love with my boys every day! As Dreamy reminds me often (a little too much if we’re going to be brutally honest), I never wanted boys, but oh, how they love their mama, and how that melts my heart. Every time I make them anything (even sliced cucumbers which they oddly love), they both throw up their arms and say “Mommy, you make the best [whatever the food is] EVAH!” and I tell them “Aren’t you sweet! Make sure you tell your future wife that every day. She’ll appreciate it like you wouldn’t believe!”

Besides being fans of ME, they’re just at that stage now where they’re also fans of everyone in the family. The plan little picnics together, help each other ride bikes and cheer each other on. It’s SO COOL. They also fight all the time, causing me to lose my sanity, but we’re working through that. All that to say, I don’t know why I’m so sad to see the end of the last highchair! Pinterest only made it worse. I was avoiding adult responsibility by scanning through birthday cake pictures, and saw a whole bunch of cute 3-year-old-girl cakes and I got SO SAD! I’ll never make one of those again (actually, our grand daughter will be three in just a couple years, so maybe that’s not true, but you know what I mean). And I don’t want Bisky to be three again! I’m very careful to let her know that she’s supposed to be getting bigger and I’m happy and proud of the big girls she’s becoming, not sad that she’s not little anymore.

But still…

And let me just re-emphasize that I certainly don’t want to go back! Right after I had the boys was probably the most stressful time of my life for multiple reasons. And life is good, and getting better all the time.

But still..there’s that chair.

Most salient is that you can’t go back.



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