Goodbye, Things.

What’s mine is yours, Bumblebee.

Miles run yesterday: 9

Words written in my novel so far: 47,585

Size of men’s running shoe that is too small for my 11-year-old: 10

Goodbye, Things

(an homage to Goodnight Moon)

In the great messy garage

There was a grown man’s bike

And some running shoes

And a picture of…

A mommy singing the blues

And there were wide and narrow ties-es

And t-shirts all sizes

And an old Blackberry

Lots of things to carry

Goodbye things.

Goodbye bike

Goodbye shoes

Goodbye mommy singing the blues

Goodbye ties-es

t-shirts, all sizes

Goodbye phones

Goodbye short bones

Goodbye things that used to be mine

Goodbye things for all time.

My parents like to laugh about my sister. She had a penchant for things that were theirs.

My dad still remembers the time he returned from a speaking engagement with a gift of a nice men’s watch. My teenage sister walked in and said, “Oh! I could use that.”

Watch: gone…

Along with some of my mom’s clothes, some furniture, jewelry and various and sundry items. Things always look more appealing at my parents’ house. With my sister being the younger child, my parents found her appropriation techniques charming.

My son seems to be following in his aunt’s footsteps. He has already appropriated my husband’s (adult men’s) road bike as well as borrowed my husband’s favorite ties for dressy functions.

“I try to point him towards my least favorite ties, but he likes the expensive ones,” my husband says, shaking his head.

Yesterday, I went to buy running shoes. I picked out some for me and scanned the clearance section for some low-priced ones for my 11-year-old son. We have poured SuperFastBoneGrow solution all over him, and he can’t seem to stay the same size for more than two minutes.

I dubiously handled a size 10 men’s Karhu pair, a glorious black-and-orange festival of happiness for your feet. “Size 10? I don’t know. He’s really only a 9 and a half.” The store manager assured me I could bring them back if they didn’t work.

My son tried them on when he got home; they were TOO SMALL.



When my husband got home, he held his head in his hands, then marched out to the garage.

He returned carrying some of his favorite running shoes, gently worn, that never worked for running but that he started wearing around town; a distinction only men might understand: dressy running shoes.

My son tried them on: they worked.

My husband is trying to make sense of what is happening to his carefully constructed life: he wonders if giving his children the shirt off of his back is actually necessary.

He really likes his shirts.

I am concerned that I will come home one day to find a lock on our closet door. Our son probably wouldn’t be able to get past it because it would lack high-tech functionality like a case-sensitive password.

My daughter is not far behind; she eyes my jewelry with an experienced eye. She pretends to sort my necklaces to “help me out.” But I know the tricks of the Goodbye Gang.

Parents, join with me:

Goodbye ring

Goodbye bling

Goodbye every little thing.


46 thoughts on “Goodbye, Things.

  1. Bernie Brown says:

    Ha ha. So funny. I loved it, especially the ties-es! I used to have a sort of rule that my daughter couldn’t borrow any of my clothes until I had worn them at least once. That soon went by the wayside. I remember a few things that were mine and somehow became hers. Now that she’s older, it’s the reverse. I have a few hand-me-ups I got from her.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    My sons haven’t started pilfering from their dad yet. I’ll be sure not to say anything so it doesn’t start. 🙂 But I hear you on the shoe thing. Good grief, there was one year where I should have received free stocks from Famous Footware considering how many purchases for boys’ shoes I made!

  3. Holly says:

    Oh, I’ve taught your kids well. 😀 If your husband puts a high-tech lock on your closet door, would that really work against your son? He would code-break it in record time. And have a blast doing it.

    I probably need your daughter to come take a look at my necklaces…they must be breeding in there and could use some culling.

  4. Holly says:

    Also, I think you should get your husband to illustrate your poem, line by line, and we’ll put it into a book format. 🙂

  5. 🙂 Outstanding! Dad still complains his tools are missing. That line started about the time he let us three boys start using his shop to build toys for ourselves (7 or 8).

  6. bunnysmommy says:

    My Daughter is still in the toddler stage but I have my mom pilfering my things right now and my brother seems to thing my stepdad’s closet is like a goodwill.

  7. Daryl says:

    So funny and so true. I’m just glad I replaced the bike with “Super Bike”–your words. Hold on, this might not be so bad, “Hey Ben, do you want a lightly used sports coupe?”
    Hello Porshe upgrade 😉

  8. Jay Helms says:

    I wish I could post a picture of my tools in our garage. Once David got into bicycles, he drags them all over the place. I reorganize them about once every two weeks, and then the second law of thermodynamics quickly takes over, with the little squirt’s help.

    • annewoodman says:

      He is definitely going to do great things with bikes someday! That’s amazing! And you’re a good dad to let him experiment. They say that what you’re passionate about and do in your free time as a kid translates directly over into your adult life.

  9. Carla Helms says:

    I have noticed this starting to happen with my jewelry – Anna stands there and holds necklaces up to the shirt she is wearing and says “does this match?” which is code for “Can I wear this?” Recently about 15 pairs of my earrings ended up on 15 stuffed animals that were eating dinner at a restaurant in David’s room – I wondered why the earring section of my jewelry was a little sparse 🙂

  10. Melissa says:

    My jewelry is safe, however I have lost sweatshirts to the youngest. Since he’s not done growing, I know I’ll get them back….soon. Prepare yourself…both of mine wear size 12. Thanks goodness their feet finally stopped.

    • annewoodman says:

      I am already eyeing one of my son’s Aeropostle sweatshirts. I know he’ll outgrow it, and then it will be MINE, mine, mine… well, it will probably be my daughter’s, if we’re being perfectly honest, here. ; )

  11. robincoyle says:

    My three girls consider my closet and jewelry fair game. It is like going to the mall without leaving the house. I am blessed and cursed at the same time that we wear the same dress and shoe size. I guess I should be flattered that my daughter (in their 20s) don’t consider my wardrobe “Mom clothes.” Don’t get me wrong. I don’t dress like a 20-year-old. I like to think I have classic style. And, I love Nordstroms.

    • annewoodman says:

      I’m sure you’re the coolest, hippest mom out there. I can tell already that my daughter and I will not be the same size. She is petite and probably always will be. She is waiting until she can steal my jewelry, though. And probably my shoes, too. I use this as justification for amping up my shoe collection. ; )

      • robincoyle says:

        That’s me . . . cool and hip! Or, lukewarm and hippie, er, hippy.

        Excellent excuse to go shoe shopping. I’ll go with you. I have a thing for shoes.

  12. jmmcdowell says:

    No, I wasn’t one for pilfering my mom’s stuff. But she was 35 when I was born, so a teenager’s tastes weren’t likely to match hers. 🙂 I did borrow a pair of her pearl earrings for my wedding, though. They were my something old. I did return them. 🙂

  13. Funny stuff! At least your son likes to dress up occasionally, and he is lucky because his dad obviously has excellent taste in ties. I could wear my dad’s ties only on Halloween. 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      Ha! I’d say that at this point, my son is required to wear ties more often than my husband! Business casual has taken over the workplace… but middle school kids still have to “get dressy” sometimes.

      Your dad’s ties sound divine. ; )

  14. Something can only be taken in the take-ee relents. C’mon people, go get your stuff back!

  15. That made me laugh, very well written, Goodnight Moon was a favourite with my kids. Yes my 13 year old daughter regularly relocates things from me to her. She knows what to say as well, things like “I think that top/lipstick/pair of ear-rings is a bit young for you” – she knows that I worry about wearing things that look as though I’m trying to look younger than I am!

    • annewoodman says:

      Ha! The manipulation starts so young! We have a commercial over here where a tween/teen is looking for her green blouse and asks her mom where it is… you see the mom’s memories–she went out with her girlfriends and spilled ice cream on it–and then she washes it with Tide or something. Because Tide is so good, the daughter never knows… ; )

  16. 4amWriter says:

    Love your little poem. So cute. My daughter tells me that she wants my clothes when I die. At least she is giving me fair warning.

    Right now, she is able to wear my fleece jackets because even though they’re a little on the big side, they’re not that big and she just rolls up the sleeves and calls it a day. She and I wear similar clothing style, so I know it won’t be long before I’ll notice some belongings disappearing…

  17. This is exactly why I don’t have children.

  18. Ravena Guron says:

    urgh! Every time I read your blog you always make me smile!

  19. J-Bo says:

    Haha. I like that they go straight for the expensive stuff. I don’t have kids so I can’t entirely relate, but my cat DID eat my headphones last week…

    • annewoodman says:

      I used to have a rabbit who loved to eat wires. When my son was born, he loved to play with cords and wires, too. I started to wonder if there was a reincarnation scenario playing out… ; )

  20. We’re getting ready to move, so cleaning out he garage is no longer “a nice idea I’ll get to someday.” Thanks for the laugh, Anne. I see a picture book in this!

    • annewoodman says:

      OMG. Can’t imagine de-thinging in preparation for a move… it’s been quite a few years in our house now! Good luck!

      If I decide to write a picture book, I know who to call for illustrations, right? ; )

  21. My oldest son outgrew my husband by the time he was 13. I had to buy all new school uniform pants every two months for a year. It’s incredible how quickly it happens, isn’t it?
    I used my mother’s Chanel No. 5. Heck, it didn’t appear she used it much, a few times a year. I figured she didn’t like it.

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, I’m sure you’ve seen this kind of thing happen before. It’s crazier even than I thought.

      I used to borrow my mom’s clothes, especially for work. Her jewelry was also highly prized, but it always looked much better on her than it did on me anyway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s