Why we spring clean

Dear boys,

We usually do an annual spring cleaning, when the days edges closer towards Chinese New Year.

I mean, we all know what Spring Cleaning is all about, its about getting rid of the old so as to welcome the new, “旧迎新”. This annual exercise takes a whole new meaning when you have kids.

Its not about growing, its about getting out of the way

The old and the new is something like a metaphorical duality. What is ‘new’? and what is ‘old’? when does the ‘new’ becomes ‘old’? in a day, in a year? This year, we decided to clear the storeroom (YIKES!) There is certainly a lot of junk in there, old stuffs, momentos and other knick knacks. Old books, souvenirs from places we have been, some other keepsake, notes and letters I wrote to your mum (You mother seldom writes to me…)

As we sift through those stuffs, going through the same ‘keep’/’throw’ decision train, we realise that we ate throwing away more of ‘our stuffs, and your stuffs are growing in the ‘keep’ list.

More of your ‘keep’ stuffs are some of the baby drawings you boys did, for Ian, stuffs you did in Brightkids as well as in PCF Kindergarten convocation pictures, some of your Primary School medals, works. For Wayne, your kindergarten stuffs, drawings and of course your convocation pictures.

Space, being limited, means that we can only keep so much of everything, something’s gotta give. And we the parents, your previous generation, has to go. Our stuffs has to go, so that you have more space for your stuffs. Your toys are already a big headache for years already. We decided to clear a majority of them so that we can make space for more toys. This is a surety.

So this is the meaning of spring cleaning, things we kept, decades ago, no longer relevant except for the memories it brings, has to go. If we hoard our stuffs, you will have no place for yours, and before long, you will find new spaces outside to keep your stuffs your memories.

This is your home, as much as it is mine. As you dad, I have to be the referee not only for you but also for myself. If I keep too much of mine, you will have no space for yours, I also want to keep some of my stuffs as memories, but it will come a point it time when these memories is no longer relevant. What happens then?

That is why we spring clean, we proactively get rid of those stuffs, leave as little physical, and material baggage for you boys, when the time comes for your parents to become nothing but your memories.

We didn’t bring it with us when we first got here, and we sure as hell can’t bring it with us, when we finally depart. So as much as your mum and I treasure those stuffs, we will slowly get rid of them so that you boys will have more space to grow. Like I said, we have to get out of your way, eventually so that you boys can grow and flourish.

 Published 7 Jan 2016

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