Putting Away the Baby Clothes

The end of another season and the start of sorting out my children’s clothes, finding which clothes are too small and which ones I can keep for when the weather changes again. I have done it for the last seven years and I will continue to do it for a few more years to come, but this season I did it with a bit of joy as I saw all the adorable baby clothes that my daughter has grown out of and a lot of sorrow to know that this is it, I will never need them again.

Truth is, I have saved some for my grandchildren to wear — if I will get to meet them is another matter — but most of the clothes that I have from my seven-year-old son and my two-year-old daughter will now go to other children that may come from my bloodline but will surely not come directly from me.

But they are only clothes, right? Things to be used and then given away or put aside? Ask any woman if they are only clothes and you will get the same answer and that answer is no. Most women save some of their own clothes because they remind her of when she met someone special, when she went on holiday, when she was young and carefree and, my all-time favourite, when she could fit into them. So I have a few jeans that are at the back of my wardrobe for when I can get back into my pre-pregnancy, pre-stressed, pre-work-mum body and I have some of my kids' clothes in the attic with the word ‘forever’ written on the box — which comes from the book Love you Forever by Robert Munsch, a book whose backstory I can relate to.

I guess with each babygrow I put in the massive bags from Ikea, with every tiny baby sock, every small dress, and every cool jacket that my son must have worn about once, I am saying goodbye to that time. I am getting used to the idea that I will never be pregnant again, that September 3, 2019, was the last time I would be pregnant. Some women really want to be mums but never get the chance and some women become pregnant but still never become mums. I have had four pregnancies and have two children and I have been a woman who wanted nothing more than to have children, so to have had a traumatic birth, horrible miscarriages, and to end it all by making sure my second birth was the best it could be, I am letting go of a big part of me — a very scary but also soul defining part.

And there is the small baby bath on the stand which we removed from her bedroom just the other day. I went to check on her while she slept and just stood there, thinking the room looked bigger, thinking something was missing. But then I went into the living room and remembered all the things I had to put away so she won’t break them and I kind of got a hold of myself.

Gone is the tiny baby bath, gone are the small clothes, the car mirror that I had secured to the backseat headrest so I could see her through the reflection in my mirror. Gone is the steriliser, the tiny teething toys, the socks with bells on them to help her move her legs and learn coordination, all these things are gone and in a year or two I won’t even remember I had them all or what I used them for. But I have some of them in the photos on our wall, the wall of a house that took forever to build, the wall of a home that was completed on September 3, 2019, and a wall that marks how far we have come and still has room to showcase the memories we have yet to make.

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