We are starting to introduce Jackson to bottle-feeding breast milk so that Ed can feed him once a day and so that I have a tiny bit more mobility than a two-hour window of time that I can be away from him.
In the process, I had to decide what to do with all of Hudson’s old bottles and sippy cups. Given my general wariness about plastic (I would use glass bottles all the time if I could, but day care doesn’t allow them), I decided it would be best not to reuse them.
In order to get them ready to recycle, I had to collect them from all the various places we’d stuck them last spring. We were in the process of trying to wean her from the bottle to a cup, and while she’d mostly made the transition, she still much preferred her milk in a bottle. So we kept a few out in case she just refused to drink her milk from a cup on occasion. Those were still in our kitchen cabinet, along with all the sippy cups, the take-and-toss food containers we sent her lunch in, and the colorful pocket bibs we used every night at dinner. For the past year, every time I opened the cabinet for a plate or a bowl, I would see all of these Hudson things on the shelf right above the dishes.
Today, I pulled everything out of the cabinet. I tossed the bibs, as they had been getting ratty anyway. I pulled all the rest of the bottles out of the storage closet, along with a bag full of pacifiers, teething rings, and plastic baby spoons, which I also threw away.
In order to recycle all the bottles and dishes and sippy cups, I had to remove, one by one, the little adhesive labels with her name on them, marking them as hers. The labels were old and shot from having been washed many times, and there was nothing to do with them but throw them in the trash. One by one, I peeled them off and threw them away.
I know there will never come a day when she is not physically represented in our house—we will always have her pictures and her books and her toys and many other things to remind us of her. But at some point, all of these reminders of our everyday life with her will be gone.
Why must I keep having to say goodbye, over and over again? Every time is another terribly painful reminder of how our life should be, how it will never be. It is just so wrong.