Back when the chicks were all in the nest, every six months or so we’d have a day dedicated to cleaning up.
This involved me going into each of the boys’ rooms and touching every single thing they owned.
I’d hold each item up and ask, “Keep, Sell, Give Away?” and they would make their judgements. I’ll admit, I tended to come down on the side of Sell or Give Away, but if they insisted that they absolutely must, no matter what, keep that 17th Beanie Baby, I’d give in.
There were certain things, like Duplo and then Lego, that would always evoke shrieks of “KEEP!” and promises that the chick involved would do a better job of putting it back where it belonged, in the large, red Sears toolchest entirely devoted to its storage and not, uh, leaving it strewn around his room.
By then end of the looooong day, their rooms would be neat, we’d have a garage sale to plan (in which they would keep the proceeds from the sale of their own things) and a few ginormous garbage bags to donate. And we were all happy, perhaps for different reasons.
Now that Henry has his own studio apartment, in which he is about to host nine, yes, NINE, people for Thanksgiving, we decided to continue the Keep, Sell, Give Away tradition.
This is what it looked like halfway through.
As we were sorting through the chaos, a few things caught my eye.
First, the pumpkin. I know he buys himself one every year, and every year it makes me happy.
And then, tucked inside a plastic bag, a surprise I didn’t see coming.
“Oh, that,” he said airily, “I got that before Hurricane Irene so we’d have something to do during the blackout. We can give it away.”
And now it was my turn. “No way!” I cried.