Wearing Masks

by Marylee Fairbanks


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Day 20:  I pushed aside the curtains, turned on the lights, and emptied out my son's bedroom closet.  I piled everything on the bed and started sorting.  Hand me downs that don't fit yet,  in the box on the left, stuffed toys that he now feels the need to hide from friends but, is not ready to get rid of, in the bottom wicker basket.  New ski gear: top basket, and middle basket baseball caps.  Until now, all three of these baskets were filled with costumes.

My son used to love to dress up.  He ran around the house with his many colored capes flying behind him.  He slept in them, passed them out to visitors, and battled and defeated, his father in them.  

Now, he doesn't want them any more.  

I made him a Spiderman mask when he was three.  He wore it for years.  It was the one that visitors could not borrow.  It was folded neatly and tucked under his pillow at night.  He proudly announced to his friends "My Mom made this!" It made him invincible.  

He put it in the give-away pile.  

Oh my heart.  I pulled it out and stuck it in the one bin I allow myself for his old clothing.  

I recorded a song that plays on the Delish page.  It is from the musical Big. One lyric says, "Nobody warns you of this parents paradox. You want your kid to change and grow. But, when he does the very child you've just begun to know, leaves forever."

So, today I am letting go of not just some old superhero costumes but, I will recognize the costumes that I have squeezed myself into.  The cape that keeps we washing dishes instead of playing a board game.  The hat that orders me to choose peeling potatoes instead of walking in the woods.  The mask that nags at me to tidy instead of playing with legos.  Today, I will be with my boy because forever is right around the corner.