Clutching the Past

I went shopping the other day after a few weeks of living the hermit life of being a milking machine for my newborn.  I had decided it was time to spread my wings (aka: be solo), get some fresh air (aka: shop) and pick up some items that I needed (aka: pants that did not have an elasticized waist).  As I was walking around the store I spotted the cutest red clutch purse by an eco-friendly name brand I love.  I quickly grabbed it and marched to the register. I was so happy to have found it since the store rarely carries that brand and I have always wanted a red clutch.  As I walked out of the store, I felt the subtle pangs of buyer’s remorse setting in as I began asking myself, ‘Do I really need this clutch?’

As I continued walking, the questions also continued, ‘Where are you going to wear this new purse?’ ‘What can you fit in it?  Surely not diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, rash cream, snacks, and a sippy cup.’ and ‘How exactly are you going to even hold a clutch?’ Talk about impractical!’  My hands are already full and now I think I’m going to pop a clutch under my arm?  Surely I’ll lose it 5 minutes after walking into the first store. And then my inner voice lowered the boom: ‘You don’t live that life anymore.  You’ll never wear an everyday clutch ever again!’  BOOM!

I mean it’s a bit ridiculous.  I don’t sleep or eat regularly, I nurse around the clock and luxuries like showers are now more like challenges: how quickly can I get in and out?  Yet this small purse reminds me of a life that I have left behind, and I’m sad about it.  A part of me still wants to be that girl carrying a wallet and lip gloss inside a cute clutch, going out for impromptu outdoor summer lunches with friends.  I want to be that well-put-together girl and not a tired mommy with bags under her eyes, covered in dried up – yet still sticky– pieces of banana.  But that’s just it, and Britney Spears warned me about this – I’m not a girl anymore.  I’m a woman with 2 kids, leading a full life and my big purse and subsequent shoulder and neck problems represent that.

So when I return my clutch later on this week, I will be telling the world ‘You can keep your cute little purses.!’ Instead I will keep company with the likes of Mary Poppins and children everywhere will marvel at what I can pull out of my bag.  Plus, big totes are in anyway…

Lena Hassan

Lena Hassan lives in Ottawa, Ontario and is a loving mother to two girls.


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