Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Giving Away the Baby Clothes

I'm keeping this one. 
My oldest daughter is 9. My youngest is 3 and a half. My husband and I have made the decision that there are no more children in our future. Babies, like puppies, are cute and all, but they are a hell of a lot of work. The most physically taxing years of parenting - those long, sleep-deprived days filled with bottles and diapers and wipes and baby food and chasing around toddlers at party after party - are behind us. We're starting to relish the time we have to sit back and enjoy our kids, watching their personalities grow and change. They're like firecrackers that are changing color and formation mid-flight. It's a glorious thing.

But giving away the baby clothes ... accepting that this is it, that there aren't going to be anymore precious babies that my body somehow miraculously creates ... that is a tough pill to swallow. In the past, every time my eldest daughter moved into a new size, I packed up all of her old clothes and stored them away for our youngest. But now that our youngest is growing like a weed, there's no reason any longer to keep the old clothes, those tiny jackets and little leggings that still smell subtly of Johnson's baby lotion and Dreft. I suppose I should relish all of the new space there will be in the attic. But all I see when I look up there is emptiness, echoes in a place that used to be filled to brimming with things.

Giving away the baby clothes requires that I accept that I am also moving into a new stage, a new phase. Growing older. I suppose this should be liberating. Instead, it kind of feels like losing a limb. Those little baby bodies are the most precious things I've ever held. When they grow, your arms get lighter and your heart gets heavier. A/J

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