Alright. I concede. It is an unswerving truth that if you have anywhere from one to thirty-nine kids, hand-me-downs, thrift stores, yard sales, and consignment are empirically the best way to get almost anything to meet the physical needs and wants of the little crumb crunchers (except hand-me-down food...yeah, not so much). Each time there's another need or want met through one of these resources it just drives the reality home a little more.
If the needs/wants are met through the generosity of others (i.e. bags of clothing from another child's winnowed wardrobe), I have learned it's only helpful if it's gone through, winnowed for what's useful in terms of the FabFive, and then moved on out if we aren't going to use it to it's full potential. If something is given or purchased I often try to think of what underused, non-sentimental item we may be uselessly holding on to that can be gotten rid of in it's place. Keep It All Moving. That's got to be the mantra and, really, the mandate.
We have been so blessed in our thirteen years of marriage and parenting; every need met and most of our wants. And we have NEVER had to buy a single garment for any of our three us-es. I can count on one hand the clothing I have bought them collectively, and even then this was by choice and not necessity. Not.one.garment. With provision like that so often in over-abundance, how can we not keep it moving and share the wealth of blessing?
Ma Luffin' Mayun and I wanted to get Brilliant Beauty and Little Big Man bikes for Christmas, but in the end we couldn't settle on which ones and had really already spent the Santa stash for the season. They, of course, were no more the wiser that bikes had even been an option for Christmas, so no disappointment was suffered. Also, Pretty Baby is preferring vertical to horizontal these days and we're needing something for her to sit in and play to occupy her in the waking hours. Something happened yesterday that, once again, reminded me that second-hand is often first-rate.
SisterFriend (check her out...she's the Pretty One) invited me to a semi-annual kid's consignment sale that these brave souls put on in style every year. I met her there yesterday at five o'clock and faced the madness that is mothers trying to get a deal. But in the end, the mayhem was so beyond worth it. Let me show you why...
This is a Pacific Horizon (made by the people who make Schwinn bikes) 20" Girl's Bike, good for pavement and off-road trails. It retails on Amazon for $119.00.
This is a Retro RadioFlyer Doubledeck Tricycle. It retails online for $58.00.
This is an Evenflo Jenny Jump Up. It retails online for $19.99.
This is Brilliant Beauty (looking less than thrilled, but about the rain, not the bike) with her Pacific Horizon 20" Girl's Bike . . . that I paid $30.00 for.
Here is Little Big Man atop his Retro RadioFlyer Doubledeck Tricycle . . . that I paid $20.00 for.
Here is Pretty Baby eating an Evenflo Jenny Jump Up . . . that I paid $5.00 for.
In addition to the two bikes and the glorified baby-hanger, I also bought Little Big Man sixteen pairs of gently-used tighty whiteys, with the aforementioned and much necessary absence of "whitey" and presence of action figures . . . and I paid $5.50 for them. Right here before I embark on Little Big Man Booty Boot Camp!
$60.50 spent. Met some needs, met some wants.
People, I'm stoked.
So take the time; the time to search through thrift stores, to drop in at a yard sale, to brave a consignment sale where you may or may not get taken out at the knees by a woman dragging around a severely merchandise-bloated laundry basket tethered to a belt, and the time to go through your own us-es' stuffses to see what can be winnowed and kept moving into the lives of people who may or may not see a pre-owned onesie, kid's size 6 jeans, or incomplete set of dishes as something miraculous.
And just for kicks, check out Little Big Man below from back in the day working it out in his Johnny Jump Up.
P.S. I know how to properly spell "alliteration". Please forgive my obvious illiteration in the previous post.