There was a day when you’d not find me with a purse in hand, nor within a mile of me. Too easy to lose, too useless when you’ve pockets to use – and besides, if you can’t fit it in your pockets, I always thought there was a good chance I didn’t need it. In the last few years, that philosophy has been revised slightly, in part because of a need (and, dare I say, desire?) for a more flexible wardrobe than Levi’s could provide in their denim five-pocket line. Even when I did begin to explore the restrictions and limitations of purses, I was never one to cart around compacts or lipstick or more than was necessary.

I now find myself with not just a purse (bad enough), but also with a diaper bag and sometimes at least one other bag of “stuff”, despite my best attempts to carry only as much as I can get in one trip with a 26-pound helper on my hip. And the purse’s contents have been revised to a point that you’d no longer know me by the small arsenal and assortment therein. Nestled beside my wallet, you could find chew toys, Kleenex, diapers, wipes, lists of various flavors (from to-do to groceries to reminders to topic ideas to more to-do’s…), Oragel, scraps of paper, rattles, sippy cups, Cheerios (with or without a container – it turns out she eats them either way), animal crackers, graham crackers, crumbs, baby Tylenol, nail clippers, chap stick, cell phone, planner (on hopeful days), an unidentified wad of…ewww!, and that’s not unzipping the compartments… Yes, my purse is nothing short of a suitcase (hey, I should see if my laptop will fit in there!).

As I lug my life on my shoulders, oddly reminiscent of college backpack days, I chuckle to think that someday I’ll be able to carry one of those tiny little purses again…and carrying it will be a bittersweet reminder of another season passed.