I let Katarina make decisions about her stuff - what to keep and what to donate.
When she went through her bookshelves with a donation box a few months ago, I watched her have a hard time making a decision about her fairy books.
They ended up back on her shelf. She was not going to part with them.
Over the next couple of days, she reread each one. It did not take very long; they are well below her reading level. I saw her look at them like old friends, admiring the pictures, and giggling in all the right places. I thought we might have to use some of our preciously small storage space to pack them away.
Last week we had an organizing and cleaning day.
Katarina handed me a stack of fairy books for the donation pile.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yes. I will always love fairies, but I need room for my other books," she answered. "If I donate them, a little girl who can't afford to buy them in a bookstore will get a chance to read them. I reread each one after we cleaned last time, and now I am ready to let them go."
In that moment, I saw her grow.
And I realized there were at least twenty books in a stack that I don't even love. Books that could be passed on to someone who will appreciate them more. I added them to the donation pile. Maybe I grew up a little bit, too.
(Confession: It was harder than I thought it would be to watch those fairy books leave. I am not entirely prepared for this growing up thing.)