Strolling Down Memory Lane

A few days ago I dropped off our stroller off at Goodwill. After six and half years and two kids, we are officially, a stroller free household. Like most, we started with the Graco Infant Carrier, moved on to several Maclaren models, including a double stroller. In the midst, the Sit’ n Stroll was our traveling buddy. Our last purchase was a $50 umbrella stroller from Target. Over the years, I have uttered the following words, countless times: ‘I CAN NOT wait for the stroller days to be over’. I’ve said these words when trying to frantically fold the thing while getting on a bus, maneuver through narrow store aisles, go up subway steps and while trying to stay somewhat dry in pouring rain while attempting to balance my umbrella in the crook of my chin and shoulder… all while pushing my (very dry) child. You name it, we’ve bought it- sun shades, rain shields, cup holders, buggy boards, wind guards, organizers, hooks…. the list is endless.

So I happily announced to my daughters that after several months of the stroller sitting unused in our tiny closet, taking up coveted space, today was donation day. Hopefully it would find more use with another family. Boy, was I surprised at the reaction! Actual tears popped out of their little eyes, they ran over and hugged the (filthy) thing and pleaded for more time and just a few more rides. I laughed to myself and told them to stop being silly. As we headed out the door, my young daughter insisted on a ‘last ride’ to the lobby. After she was on her way to school, my six-year-old and I headed to Goodwill. She begged for her last ride and I gave in. I pushed my 50 pound first grader two full blocks while taking in all the judgmental looks of parents clearly thinking that she was too big, too old, to be in a stroller, and there must be something very wrong with me.

After drop-off, I thought back to our first walks with our infant in her stroller, during those hazy days of sleep deprivation when it was a treat to be outdoors, taking in fresh air and feeling somewhat human. I remember going to restaurants and having her sleep soundly in her stroller while we enjoyed a babysitter-free night out. I remembered all the tantrums they had over the years and how grateful I was to have those restraining straps. I recalled just how adorable my girls looked holding hands in their double stroller or pulling the shade down and whispering the first of many secrets. The stroller allowed us to walk and ride all over the city. I fondly recall one night my husband and I walked from Chinatown all the way to the Upper East Side with both girls awake and comfortably taking in all the different neighborhoods and sights, all from the comfort of their rolling seats.

As cumbersome and awkward as the strollers may have been, each one kept our girls safe, dry, snug, comfortable and rested. While I’m happy to have a bit more closet space, and it feels liberating to walk without pushing something, I can’t deny the emotions of this milestone.

Moving beyond the stroller days is just one more sign that my girls are truly on their own two feet and growing up way too fast for my liking. Oh… and newly freed up space in my closet? Two scooters have already claimed it.

 

Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, Mina was an HR Recruiter for years. Now her time is spent happily juggling the demands of two young daughters while trying to expose them to the endless adventures the city has to offer.

 

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