how empty it is



It’s four o’clock and I’m already tired.

When I woke up this morning, the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed. But I did.

With the middle bedroom somewhat empty, only containing a single twin size bed and an empty dresser, we started putting packed boxes in the corner. An empty plastic drawer container in the closet. An empty book shelf.

The girls have wanted to sleep in there. They love it. They rest on the bed, after having spread their blankets across the mattress, smile and look around.

“It’s so beautiful,” they say.

“Do you like how empty it is?” I ask.

“I do,” she answers with a sigh.

I promised her we’d get rid of the majority of her toys.

It’s funny that my little girl begs me to get rid of her toys. She says, “This way it will stay clean, Mommy.”

I find it interesting that “less” is more peaceful to her.

I sit in the room and want to throw everything I have away. It’s all just clutter. Pretty clutter, but still clutter. More to clean. More to detach from. More effort. More energy. More draining.

So today, I find myself sitting in their bedroom, sorting through things after I’ve assembled an extra large box with packing tape.

“Everything you don’t want, we’ll put in here,” I say.

This is when the first princess decides to keep everything the second princess doesn’t want.

But we still end up filling the box to overflowing.

I have half a garage of items we’ll get rid of. Corners of the living room full of items to remove.

I haven’t even gone through Bubba’s room yet. It’s like…. if I keep his door closed… maybe he’s in there. Reading a book. Maybe he’ll come out at any moment for a glass of water, or to talk to me.

I want to leave the house more and more every second. I know it’s naive, but I feel like if I just leave this house, I will no longer have to feel this. But, then, if I leave…. there won’t be his room anymore. His space.

It comes so suddenly, my emotion. Folding the shirts that he removed from his bag saying he didn’t need to take them. It makes me want to throw up, honestly. So much sadness, balling up in my stomach, knotting.

I know that I am not my sadness, and Bubba isn’t my sadness either.

But my sadness is so real, so tangible. So thick.

Despite it, I cuddle little girls and the baby boy. Despite it, I brush hair and I braid it. Despite it, I arrange meals and run the dishwasher and washing machine. I continue…. existing. But a little bit smaller. A little more achy.

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