Sunday, January 13, 2013
Our generation is wasteful, and I don't mean that just in the way that we throw away table scraps that our depression-era grandparents would have kept in the freezer.
There is this hunger to shop, to consume. There is a thirst to have what our parents have, only right now. Without wait and with more debt than we should.
We flock to namebrands. Purses that are just like the one at Target, only with a different (and absurd) pricetag.
I think that hard working people deserve nice things. I also think that us 20-40 year olds (yep...we're in the same bracket) put far too much value on things of monetary value...
...and now there is this idea that when we are done using them, we should get our money back. Thanks to craigslist and the new sales pages on facebook, nothing is off limits. Those outgrown baby clothes that were gifts in the first place? Why not list them for a little profit?
but whatever happened to hand-me-downs? Whatever happened to trades?
Whatever happened to a community of parents, all needing the same staples for their babies and kids, and passing them around? Mom to mom. Child to child.
Baby showers are (luckily for me...4.5 years later) no longer reserved for first time moms. Each baby is now the recipient of truckloads of brand.new.still.in.the.package.with.tags.on. things that we are told we need.
And then those things are reSOLD and the cycle continues.
I believe in passing these gifts on...as gifts. I love the idea that the things I loved in my first son's wardrobe that we have given away, will return to me when my next child arrives. I love that when we are finished with them (again) they will get passed on down the line.
Not only is this a way of helping eachother out and cutting down on waste, but it just makes sense.
This time around, I realized that all of the "necessities" weren't really necessary at all. That gorgeous crib that we had for Eldon? It served it's purpose as nursery decor and was never slept in. The giant diaper bag was a pain in the ass to tote around and we never really put the dirty diapers in the genie.
I was without anything for Max but setting up a registry was hard. I felt greedy and wasteful. I let my baby shower guests know that used items were appreciated, and I was overwhelmed with their generosity.
There were heartfelt gifts, new and used, all loved.
The baby monitor that my cousin used to listen to has found a home with us. Contrary to my first time mom behavior, I didn't check the brand. I didn't compare online ratings. I know that it works, because it did for her. Someday it will work for somebody else.
My Aunt who didn't have baby items to hand down, wrapped up one of her favorite handmade lap blankets and I may have already stolen it from Max. I figure that since I'm sharing my, ya know...oxygen and blood and all that, he can handle me using his new blankie until he gets here. It's soft, broken in, and smells like a cozy home already, instead of a department store. Hopefully by the time this one gets passed along, it's to kids of his own.
The new stuff was practical and heartfelt. Diapers (SO many diapers), baby wash, adorable outfits and handmade blankets.
I am not knocking new gifts, and I know that sometimes, well...you just need the money. I held a yard sale to help launch myself and Eldon into this new life of ours when I had nothing. For the most part, though, I have always just passed things along, a trend that I see dying with people my age.
I have been incredibly blessed to know that I will have everything I need and more for Max, Eldon, and I. I hit the jackpot in terms of family and friends.
Knowing that my son will be wrapped up in their generosity makes me feel closer to them, and like Max is a part of a "village." The way it used to be, and the way it should be.
I can't wait to take that love and generosity, and pass it on.
That should be the cycle.