Thursday, September 28, 2006

Letting Go

During the course of summer’s fresh air and exercise, Incrediboy has lanked right out of last year’s cool weather clothes. I spent last weekend weeding out his closet so as to assess his fall and winter wardrobe needs (can’t have the poor boy running around bare-wristed and ankled), and this seemingly little chore quickly escalated into a massive project.

I still have every piece of clothing Incrediboy ever wore. When Naïve was expecting her youngest, I passed on a whole first year’s worth of clothes to her, but instead of paying them forward she gave them back to me when she was done, and they have since resided in their shipping boxes in our garage. Meanwhile another year’s worth of sizes have compounded and have been outgrown. I’ve put off going through them all, but as Incrediboy closes in on his third birthday and we have no plans for another, it’s time to move these things on. Cleaning out last winter’s sizes led to hauling out the boxes of yesteryear, and soon baby clothes overtook my living room.

This task was more fun than I anticipated. It was neat to see all of his adorable baby things again, remember how small and sweet he was and marvel at how he’s grown and how time has flown despite the fact that it felt like forever when we were living (barely) through those early months of no sleep and no clue of what we were doing.

It was also much sadder than I anticipated. These little outfits were once huge on the tiny being we brought home, though we can barely remember it. Had we not a slew of photographs of the boy wearing them, we might think it was all imagined. He just couldn’t have been that small. But he was. We might as well have dressed him in a pillowcase with some of the items, as big as they were on him. How is that?

Surely these things shrank while they sat in storage.

I looked at each piece with a wistful smile, sorting them into piles by size, and after hours of work I had a stack of 0-6 month, 9-12 month, 18 month, and 24 month clothes.

There was one more stack as well. A stack of special things – outfits that were especially cute or were given by special loved ones. Things Daddy and I aren’t ready to let go of yet. This last stack is a bit larger than it should be – But in another year or so perhaps we’ll weed through them again and be more prepared to let some of them go. For now though, we’re not quite ready. Along with photos and memories, these are all that is left of our baby boy. It’s nice to hold the soft, snuggly, sweet-smelling clothes in our hands as the baby who once wore them grows smaller in the distance as he grows bigger in front of us.

I packed them all up, except for that last stack. The boxes are still sitting in my living room. Not for long, but for now.


chesneygirl said...

Oh Clew! I am planning to do this VERY thing myself this weekend, I even carted home boxes from work yesterday but after reading this I don't think I'm going to be able to! I hadn't even thought about all of the emotions that are going to go with it! I almost started crying just reading this.

My problem is, since I have not yet decided whether or not they'll be another one I can't decide whether or not to get rid of them or store them. I'll probably get rid of some of my least favorite and some of the ones that were hand-me-downs from friends to begin with....but since not only will I end up with sorted piles of memories, I'll end up with piles of money spent....and if I DO decide there will be another one, I'll want to kill myself if it's a boy and I've gotten rid of everything.

Aahh! What to do???

Nelly said...

I have kept some of my son's clothes and pretty much none of my daughter's except for the outfit she came home in. My sis-in-law had a girl the same month I had my princess, but two years later so she is getting all of her stuff. I'm keeping the "special" stack for now. ;)

Ame said...

i understand ... me, too. i have a few things from here and there. i loved having little babies! i wish my husband at the time had been nicer during those years, but i still loved every bit of having little babies! even the reflux and sleepless nights and illneses and er visits and . . . . .

Martie said...

"as the baby who once wore them grows smaller in the distance as he grows bigger in front of us."

How very 'babies' have all grown and now have 'babies' of their own, and the babies they once were is only a memory now! But what a great memory!!

Queen Karana said...

We've been going through the same thing at our house. Clothes everywhere! I can't believe how fast these kids grow. You described the emotions involved eloquently.

- From another blogging chick... who's also a mom of 2 girls, ages 4 & 6.