Learning to let go. (And pitch in the trash.) This vase of tissue paper flowers has hovered near my bag of trash every time I’ve cleaned my bathroom since about 2010.

And until last week, I’d pull it right back out and place it on top of the little cupboard where I keep my hair clippies and bobbie pins and stuff. The same place it’s sat since I received it for Mother’s Day a whole bunch of years ago.

I loved it then, and I loved it the day I pitched it, but I’m also not sorry I let it go.

There were growing layers of dust between the tissue paper and I often noticed it when I dried my hair and would try to blow it off with my hairdryer. The pink and blue and green and turquoise never really matched that bathroom. I probably should have moved it to the bathroom off the laundry room years ago where it would have gone better with the color scheme.

Instead, it sat right there for 15 years or so. And a naggy little voice kept telling me that it was a gift from my little girl when she was just a first or second grader and it would be a bad mother thing to do if I put it in the trash.

But last Saturday I put it the trash bag. Then I pulled it out and put it back in its spot and pulled out my phone and took a picture of it. Then I put it back in the trash bag and took it right to the garage.

Then I sat down and took a breath. I thought hard and realized I wasn’t really positive which of my two daughters I’d received it from, and therefore the actual pitching of the vase would not in and of itself hinder my mother-of-the-year chances anyway.

Then I thought about my two daughters who have spread their wings and are flying on their own with all the grace I’d prayed for and realized I’m overflowing with reasons to be proud of their work and the worlds they’ve created for themselves. The vase made from a salad dressing bottle covered with tissue paper squares was then, but I have a whole lot of new things to celebrate now.

And I’d just finished that thought when I looked up at the bookshelf in the family room and I spied a silk sunflower that’s been sitting on that shelf in a vase for 15 years or so. I took it off the shelf and my suspicions were confirmed: the vase was covered in tissue paper squares glued to what I think might have been an olive jar.

A gift from my daughter no doubt for Mother’s Day when she was in first or second grade.

But which daughter? I wasn’t sure.

I blew the dust off the sunflower and took a quick swipe of the vase with the still-in-my-hand dust rag and put it proudly right back where it belongs.

I’m making progress.

Bee line to DNC. Kick off the fall concert season at the Dunwoody Naturs Center with the first-of-the-season concert in the series of three.

Saturday night begins with Smokey’s Farmland Band presented by Moondog Growlers and Mother Earth Brewery. Pack a picnic along with a blanket or a beach chair for the evening.

The Nature Center concerts are free to member families. Admission is $5 for non-member adults, $3 for non-member students, and free to children 3 and under.

Make note of upcoming concerts on Oct. 5 with the Swamp Funk Quartet and another on Oct. 26.

Concerts begin at 7 p.m.

picketfence@bellsouth.net

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