My Real Life

May 22, 2013

What I Can’t Let Go

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

People call me a lot of things.

Sentimental isn’t one of them.

People who know me well know that I’m a big mush inside a tough exterior.

I cry in public when I see kids on a leash.

(The previous statement is not meant to start a debate.  It’s just a fact, folks.  I broke down into sobs on a DC trip one year after passing a mother with a little guy on a leash.)

I sobbed messily in the middle of a Social Studies class I was teaching when we made the decision to give our dog away.

Real Man had to get a new shirt after sitting in between Kim and I during Steel Magnolias and I have to actively avoid watching Terms of Endearment or I’m a mess for days.

A mush, for sure.

But sentimental?


I would be the dream person to go on Clean Sweep because I’d let go of everything.

I know the memories are in my head, not in the item.

However, there are a few things that I will never let go of.





This was my Grandma’s lemonade/iced tea container.

The top is a plunger that mixes the powder in with the water.

It’s not really efficient for a family of 6 because it only holds two quarts of liquid.

I don’t care.

Every single time I see this in my refrigerator, I think of my Grandma and the summers I spent with her in Ohio, and every time I see my kids using it, I think of how very much she would love my monkeys.




This is (obviously) a bottle of Martinelli’s sparking cider.

We will, most likely, never ever drink it.

However, when Real Man and I bought our first house, the woman we bought it from left this in the fridge for us with a note of congratulations.

This bottle represents the beginning of our married lives together, as we got married a few months after we purchased the house.

I wouldn’t trade the family we have now for the couple we once were, but I remember those days so fondly.

Fondly sounds like I’m remembering my Great Aunt, but I can’t think of another word right now.

It was awesome and they were great times.

There, that’s better.

So, even though we will never drink it, we will also never throw this out.




My parents moved when I was in college.

When they moved, their realtor (who also happens to be Kim’s Mom) had this amazing drawing done of the house they had sold.

The house I grew up in.

When we moved into this, our fourth (and final) home, I asked if I could have it, and they agreed.

Because I loved that house.

I loved that house more than you should ever love something that isn’t alive.

It was old with nooks and crannys and hiding spaces and history and awesomeness.

It’s the house of every single one of my childhood memories and I remember crying when they told me they were moving.

My parents have been in their current house for twenty one years, and it still doesn’t feel like “home” when we go there to hang out.

So, this drawing stays because the building in it was so much more than a house.

It was my home.




My non-sentimentality has me giving away baby things as soon as my babies grow out of them.

Which is why we were in sticky situations when we found out we were (surprise!) pregnant with Baby Monkey and then five years later (surprise!) pregnant with Tiny.

Clothes, accessories, baby ‘stuff’, blankets, you name it.

I got rid of it.

Partially because it wasn’t being used which just made it clutter, but if I’m completely honest, partially because seeing it made me want another baby.

Because I always want another baby.

But, the shop is closed (permanently) so this time, all the baby stuff can go.

These two quilts, though…I will never give away.

The quilt on the left is a quilt that Erin’s Mom sewed for my first baby, who turned out to be Monkey Girl.

It is made up of pieces of dresses that Erin and her sister, Kristin, wore when they were little girls.

All of my babies have slept under this quilt, and Tiny is currently sleeping under it as I type.

I love it.

The quilt on the right was sewn for Tiny by my friend and former colleague, Susan.

Susan sewed this quilt for me after retiring, while packing up her entire house to go sail around the world with her husband.

I know how much Susan loves quilting, but because of my friendship with Susan, I also know how much time goes into making a quilt like this and I will treasure it always.

So, in a year or two, there may be no traces left that any babies were ever swaddled in this house.

But I will always have these quilts, and hope that, one day, my grandbabies sleep under these quilts.

Okay, now that sounded sentimental.

Better quit while I’m ahead.



  1. I love that you are a softie (you are!). I feel the same way about items I have that are my grandparents AND, my husband also has a framed picture in our home of the home he grew up in. Some memories that are tangible are just too precious to toss. I agree, but, I’m your Huckleberry if you need help clearing the house of a hoarder. The Navy Brat in me cringes at stuffed corners unless the corner is stuffed with my Grandmother’s paintings. Great post, Amy.

    Comment by BadParentingMoments (@BPMbadassmama) — May 22, 2013 @ 8:42 am | Reply

    • If I ever get into the house of a hoarder, you’ll be my first call. We’ll kick clutters ass and take names. 🙂

      Comment by Amy — May 29, 2013 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

  2. Love this post Amy! I have things that I call my” security blankets”. A few things from childhood that have been with me forever. For example…a pair of my grandpa’s work gloves. Even after 30 years they still smell like fresh cut hay. And? I’ll always remember his strong, handsome hands. A teddy bear my great grandmother made me when I was little. He’s made from my great grandfathers coat.
    And my copy of Charlotte’s Web. It has to be on my nightstand…wherever I go. Little treasures and wonderful memories.

    Comment by Kerry — May 22, 2013 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

    • Ooh, I love the Charlotte’s Web on the nightstand. The work gloves, teddy bear…those are the things I mean…they may seem inane to others, but they are so meaningful to you!

      Comment by Amy — May 29, 2013 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

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