Yesterday, we put our double stroller out with the garbage.
“Are you sure?” I asked my hubby (more like pleaded).
“Sure. What else are we going to do with it?”
“But what about?” And here I cut off. Because we’re still in lockdown and there are no plane rides booked and, well, our youngest isn’t so young anymore.
“She’s almost five,” my husband said, and I winced. Because where did the time go?
We’ve had the double stroller since our twins were born. It’s carried our babies to parks and through airports. The twins would sleep it in it, shaded under the umbrella, whatever beach we were on. When we travelled, we actually strapped the babies to our bodies and used it to carry all our luggage and car seats. Through the years and visits to myriad theme parks, the kids would take turns riding in it, when they got tired. Later, I would even hang scooters and helmets off it. I actually preferred taking it on road trips because of all the things I could stuff into and around it; it was like a mini minivan.
And now it’s gone.
Yesterday, my eldest son, who’s 12, spent the day in the “city,” or as close to the city as we get in these here suburbs.
This morning, in health class, my 8-year-old twins learned about the dangers of smoking and vaping, even though I’ve never seen a Grade 3 kid do either.
Lately, my 4-year-old daughter tells me that the shows I pick out for her are “dumb” and “for babies.” As if she weren’t still my baby. As if she wouldn’t always be.
I remember lying in the sun in Jamaica, back when I was pregnant with my twins. Gord and Zach were frolicking in the shallow end of the pool, arguing over something silly, like whether Zach preferred McQueen or Mater. Or would he rather have chicken fingers or grilled cheese for lunch.
“It gets more complicated,” a white-haired man said, as he passed by. Gord and I laughed at it then, and many times over, through the years.
But right now it feels more like heartache.
By morning the stroller is gone. Perhaps another family expecting twins. Perhaps a young mom with a second child on the way. I think of all the days at the park to come for them. When nothing was more thrilling than a push on the swing.
I know I still have time. And I am so, so, so very grateful for it.
But I know it will look different. And every day the kids inch farther and farther away from me. They get a little bit sassier. A little more argumentative. They beffudle me even more.
I don’t know what else to say. To think of all those years past makes my heart hurt. Whoever has taken the stroller, whoever you are, I just wish you all the best. May you enjoy every moment and make mountains of memories.