By Kevin Newman

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Spent one of those weekends digging through the garage for things that should have been thrown out long ago, and others which simply need recycling. It led to a pickup-truck load of donations for adrug recovery center for young men, and another load for a trip to the dump. There is something amazingly purifying about a trip to the dump— watching those remnants of things that should have been disposed of months (years?) ago finding a home among other clutter. This time was a little different though. Amid the leaves, cardboard and broken furniture were the final remnants of our children’s childhood. Pieces of Barbie clothing, the axil and wheels from a Tonka truck, model setsnever completed, bits of pieces of other thingswhich have been forgotten for years. Both of our children are young adults now, and anything thatis meaningful has been put in storage. The rest we have ‘permission’ to dispose of. It doesn’t happen easily.I found myself looking and holding that small doll shoe one last time before adding it to the junk pile. Everything received that one last ‘gut-check’ before being thrown out. My wife and I (being empty nesters now) are considering putting our home on the market, downsizing and returning to a time whenwe didn’t need as much space. We’ve already started the process of detaching our children from our lives;now we’re going through detaching some ofwhat’s been left in their path. Those toys that once filled a Christmas morning with squeals of delight are landfill.The page is close to being turned.