Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Car Seat


I sold Goblin’s infant seat on Craigslist yesterday. (I love Craigslist!) It’s been sitting in the garage taking up space now that she has a giant convertible car seat. I was in declutter mode when I dusted it off, took photos of it, and posted the ad. When someone texted me about it right away, I thought, “D’oh! I should’ve asked for more money!” We arranged to meet in a gas station parking lot near my work yesterday over my lunch hour. I pulled up into the stall and met the woman who wanted to buy the seat.

She was young – mid twenties perhaps, and had a small baby bump. I wondered if this was her first baby – I imagined it was, since she drove a tiny orange Dodge Neon. I thought back to my first pregnancy, when I had a mixture of equal parts “oh my GOSH how am I going to do this?” and pure, giddy excitement sloshing around in my brain. I purchased all of Hollywood’s baby supplies secondhand back then too. As I looked at this woman, I saw a little bit of myself in her, and I was glad this car seat would be used by her family.

We made small talk about the weather. It was a beautiful day, as so many of them are in September around here. She inspected the car seat and announced that it was in great shape. I told her that my daughter had only used it for about six months before we moved her to the big car seat.

In that instant I froze, suddenly thinking about this infant seat and all it had witnessed.

Before Goblin was born, I perused model after model of car seats online, reading hours' worth of reviews and trying to decide which color and design to pick. I finally settled on this one. I loved the cheerful orange and green dots. I knew they’d work for a boy or a girl.

The car seat sat in our dining room for weeks, waiting for baby Goblin to be born. I'd look over at it and then glance down at my huge belly, feeling excitement about this new addition that would be joining our family.

It carried Goblin home from the hospital for the first time. She wore an itty bitty gray sweatsuit that said "I Love Mommy" on it and a knitted hat that Auntie M made for her. I remember how tiny our baby girl was; I was so careful buckling her into the car seat – I didn’t want to pinch her little legs in the clasps, I didn’t want the straps to be too loose or too tight.

She wasn’t a big fan of the car seat, or of being restrained in general – often times she looked like this when we strapped her in:


I left her at daycare for the first time in this car seat. I carried her into the sitter’s home, unbuckled her, took her out of the seat and handed her off. And then I cried all the way to work.

Each morning last winter, I would slip on the little crocheted pink and blue hat, tuck her tabby blanket around her chest, place the pink lamb fuzzie next to her cheek so she'd have something soft 'hugging' her, and wrap a blanket around her. Then I’d throw a quilt over it all when we got outside into the frigid air.


One of my favorite photos of Goblin was taken in her car seat. I snapped it with my phone before I headed out to work one day. She looks so pensive here:


She went all sorts of places in that car seat. It carried her to mass on Sunday mornings, where it sat perched on the wooden pew with Goblin dressed in her frilliest outfits. It protected her in the car as we made trips to Nanna’s, to Grandma’s, and to meet friends, both new and old. The car seat held Goblin as we went to football games and sporting events. We wedged it into the bleachers for chorus concerts, basketball games, and show choir events. It clicked into place on top of Target shopping carts and went along for the ride as I got groceries and odds and ends. It sat neatly into an upturned high chair, holding a sleeping baby as our family dined together in our favorite restaurants.

It carried her along on trips to the zoo with her sister and cousin:


And to the science center with The Boy and Bumblebee. (It wore her out!)


The car seat has been through it all. We’d bring it into the house after a trip and plop it on the living room floor. Think of the conversations it overheard, being at the center of our home day in and day out!

The last hurrah of the car seat was our trip to Italy. Goblin had moved to her big car seat by then, but we took the bucket seat with us on the plane. Here she is sleeping with Hollywood as we drove to the airport:

italy bound!

We didn’t use it for long, but some of our most precious moments happened with that car seat protecting Goblin.

As I grabbed the handle and handed it to the new mom-to-be, a wave of nostalgia and sadness passed over me. My children are growing up so fast, and even my strategy of having them over a span of 18 years hasn’t stopped that from happening. As the young woman handed me her payment and took the car seat, she looked at me. I think I caught a glimpse of that hopeful excitement mixed with terror in her smile. It made me happy to think of the new adventures this car seat will experience with its new family. I said a quick prayer for this woman, hoping that she'll be blessed with the fortune that our family has had. And with that, I sent the car seat on its merry way.


Julie said...

Aw, I love this!

Beth said...

Oh, sob.

DrSareh said...

Well, now *I'm* terrified!

Please say what car seat this is for, oh some pregnant woman due in 5ish months, please?

Monnik said...

DrSareh - don't be terrified. :)

This is the Graco SnugRide. It's middle of the price range - lots of people seem to like the Chicco brand better, but I knew from experience that I would be using it only for a short while and we decided to splurge on the convertible car seat instead. (We got a Recaro for that - love, love, love it.)

Barb said...

Gosh, thanks for making me cry! That was such a sweet story. It's nice to hear someone who is so aware of their blessings.

bambier said...

Funny enough, I still have Averie's car seat in the attic. I couldn't talk myself into parting with it for the same reasons have noted... I probably should have let it benefit someone else rather than gather dust in retrospect. Now that it's 3 years old, it's probably pushing the expiration date... Well done on decluttering your home and helping another momma out (want to come help declutter mine now? haha!)

miami lakes kia said...

How cute baby and its a sweet story.
Kia Hollywood

chen paige said...

It's a good car seat! We ended up with a spending plan so expense was the main reason for selecting this motor vehicle seat, but it really turned out fantastic!
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