The Garage Sale

garage sale 2Did you ever have one of those moments when you knew your children had finally grown up?

It was in May of 2011 when my husband and I decided that it was high time that our garage and basement had a good cleaning out. We talked about giving everything away to the Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but when our oldest daughter, Sarah, heard about this, she said, “Let’s have a garage sale!”

We both looked at her questioningly, saying at the same time, “Who’s going to take care of the garage sale?”

“We’ll take care of it — me and Stephanie and Axel. All you guys have to do is let us know what things to sell and help us to do the pricing and we’ll do the rest — I promise.”

Did you ever have one of those moments when you knew your children had finally grown up?

My husband I talked it over and decided that maybe it was a good idea after all. We decided to split the money five ways, between me, my husband, Sarah, her fiancé, Axel, and our youngest daughter, Stephanie. Everyone was in agreement.

So the work began. It took almost two weeks to clean out the basement and the garage. But I have to give everyone credit — they all pitched in and helped. Even Axel, who was not officially part of the family yet, helped to haul things out. By the time we were finished, we had quite an accumulation of things to sell, including an organ, bicycle, workout bench, doll house which I had made from a kit and had electric lights and furniture, cello case, karaoke machine, and so many other smaller items.

We held the garage sale during the first week of June and it lasted for four days from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. By the final day, everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief that the sale was finally over. The last evening after the sale, no one even stayed up past ten o’clock — that’s how exhausting the last four days had been. Yes, it had worn us all out, but at the same time, it had been interesting to watch the people who attended our sale, but it had been even more interesting to watch how my children had reacted to those same people.

For example, there was the young boy who tried out a bike we had for sale. He wasn’t accustomed to using hand brakes, and as he headed full-speed headlong toward our garage, our future son-in-law Axel ran after him, rescuing him just before he smashed headfirst into the side door. “I was so worried about him, and I was afraid he would get hurt,” Axel  exclaimed as the young boy drove off with his mother. It was then that I knew that he would make a wonderful father for our future grandchildren.

I also watched as a little girl of about six stood in front of an expensive doll house that I had crafted, her eyes wide with wonder. She walked up to our oldest daughter, Sarah, a dollar bill clutched in her hand. “Do I have enough to buy the doll house?” she asked hopefully. Sadly my daughter shook her head, giving her a free Beanie-baby stuffed animal instead. As the little girl walked down the driveway holding her mother’s hand, Sarah turned to me with tears in her eyes. “Oh, Mom, I so wanted to give that doll house to her.” It was then that I knew the lessons of compassion and empathy we had tried to teach had not been lost on her.

This was also proven true by our youngest daughter, Stephanie, when another young girl of about eight or nine expressed enthusiastic interest in an i-pod which had never been used, still in the box it came in, never unwrapped. “How much is it?” she eagerly asked my youngest daughter. Stephanie smiled at the young girl, knowing how much she wanted the item. “How much money do you have?” asked Stephanie. “$2.37,” she replied, “is that enough?” “You know what? It’s only one dollar,” Stephanie told her, lowering the price considerably. “So you’ll have some money left over.” The look of joy on the young girl’s face was exquisite as she walked away with her prize.

I was so proud of my children because they showed kindness, compassion, and empathy throughout those four days. Yes, even though these people were strangers, my children showed that they still cared about them. Why? Because my children have the belief that we are all one family — linked forever because we are one in the same — people. We all may be different, but we are still people, and that’s why we are linked together forever, with the need and the obligation to care about each other.

During those four days, my children showed that they were no longer children. They showed that because they are responsible enough to respect others and to care for them through their kindness, compassion, and empathy, that they are indeed adults. Because of this, I will no longer call them children.

Did you ever have one of those moments when you knew your children had finally grown up?

Today I am the proud mother of adults, and I think they are amazing.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”   ~ Anne Frank

 

 

 

 

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