Wednesday, September 19, 2007
My True Diaper Bag Story
There are many different bags out there. Purses, backpacks, those gorgeous paper bags with fancy handles and tissue paper that you get at upscale stores, book bags, shopping bags, gift bags, even a man-bag or two. But there is one bag that is unique to moms... the diaper bag.... the magic bag of remedies, where the answer to every away-from-home babyhood need is stowed away in it's unique compartment ready and waiting to be pulled out like a rabbit from a hat. Voila! Any of you who know me at all can testify to the fact that I love bags, any and all bags. Before I married N, my closet housed over 70 purses. It's an addiction, I know. Well, N insisted that I tone down my purse collection when we bought our (very small) house. Young and in love, I complied, not knowing at the time that my addiction would soon be able to be fed in a new (and much bigger) type of bag.
When we found out we were pregnant with our first baby, LGO, I went through that phase of getting prepared insanity. I shopped, registered, read magazines, made wish lists. I was determined to have the myriad of stuff I thought I needed in order to be a properly organized, prepared, and otherwise "all-together" mom. With all my purse buying know-how, I hunted down the perfect diaper bag, not too pastel, not too fluffy, sophisticated but not so sophisticated that my husband wouldn't want to carry it in public. It has all the right bells an whistles, gadgets and gizmos. It had the changing pad, the insulated bottle holders, the wipes container, a clever little slot for your cell phone. I loved it. I was determined to always have it filled with everything my beautiful baby girl would need. Everything from blankies to binkys, bottles to bandaids, breastmilk to bibs...and at first I did. (By "at first" I mean approximately three or four weeks.) After that, it wasn't uncommon for me to leave the house with a couple of Huggies in my bare hand and milk on tap.
Don't get me wrong, I still bought, still loved diaper bags, still do in fact. And when my son, NJ, was born I still went through that super-organized, time consuming, (yet very short) phase of having my diaper bag so perfectly arranged, it could have been a display for Baby Bjorn. I will celebrate my third mama-versary tomorrow as LGO turns three, and in those three years I have accumulated many diaper bags, and some regular bags that I just use for diaper bags, and some bags that I plan on using as diaper bags. When (and if) I open my hall closet to grab one of the aforementioned bags, I am presented with many options, from the Cute Baby Gap bag, to the rugged Jeep bag, to the plain canvass tote bag, to the slightly big, converted purse.
As you may have figured, I take about as much time to clean out my diaper bags as I do to supply them. So when I pull one off the hook in the closet, I never know what I may find. Many times it is an unpleasant surprise like a half-full (but only God knows when it was last used) sippy cup. Or a bib covered in three week old ravioli. But sometimes, just sometimes I find a treasure, like the pacifier I have been hunting for like a mad woman for the last hour. Or the bunny he carried with him everywhere for a while and then lost interest in. Or a favorite outfit that is now too small but not so dirty that I can't hold it and remember the last time she wore it. These are truly this mom's tiny blessings.
A few weeks ago, a woman sitting beside me in Sunday School pulled a baseball card out of her Bible. Apparently she had been using her son's Bible that morning, a son who passed away eleven years ago when he was just a little boy. She showed me the card and smiled, saying that she is always finding little trinkets that he left, little momentos for her to find. That was a diaper bag moment. It was at that moment that I realized how precious those little treasures are. You see, a real diaper bag isn't something a mom carries on her shoulder for a season while her kids are young, it's something every mom carries with her always, the place where we can reach in, reach to the very bottom and find moments of motherhood.