Monday, November 9, 2009

Growth and Denial

My kids want for nothing. We are very lucky. Their toys litter the house, our home bursting at the seams with of the things we've accumulated over the years. Their closets are full, their dresser drawers barely close if they close at all.

The thing about all those clothes (though they do have a lot of clothes) is that probably one-third of the clothes in their closets and drawers do not fit them. They outgrow the clothes before I am willing to admit that they've outgrown them.

As I get their clothes ready for the week, my fingers brush over various shirts and pants that are noticeably too small for the child that once wore them and choose the shirts that my head knows still fit them. Instead of removing the too-small items from the closets and the drawers, they lay there, always the bridesmaid, because my heart can't seem to keep up with the fact that my children continue to grow and outgrow, sometimes at an alarming rate.

My head and heart play a tug-of-war, wanting the kids to be able to wear the cute new clothes I've bought them yet still wishing they were small enough to wear some of the old favorites. This is the reason that I have a few of each child's baby clothes tucked in boxes. I will save them indefinitely. Each child will receive their boxes of keepsakes as they get married or at some future date...or if they're not interested in that sort of stuff, they'll find it when they clear out our house when we're gone. (Cheerful!)

Eventually I come to terms with the hopelessly too-small clothes and remove them from the closets and drawers. M's clothes are mostly packed away again, saved for Ms. D's use if they are not too worn or stained. K's clothes, now that our family is complete, are packed in boxes labeled SALE. Still, as I pack the various boxes, my hands caress the clothes, smoothing the wrinkles, remembering.

Of course it isn't the clothes that I want to hold on to. It's these children. I want to see them grow and develop and mature into the people I know they will be (and are becoming) yet I miss the days gone by. I miss M calling grapes "bapes." I miss K asking for his "ginkie." I already miss how tiny Ms. D was even though she's still a peanut.

So the only thing left to do is live in the moment. See my children for who they are today and enjoy these gifts that today brings. Even as my children frustrate me, they make me smile, and often laugh a deep, bubbly laugh that comes from nowhere. These todays will become the yesterdays that I long for. So I'd better enjoy them.

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Madeline said...

Oh, you've got me tearing up now. I get all misty eyed every time I have to pack away clothes that Levi's outgrown. Sigh...

louann said...

I can so relate. About a year and a half ago, i packed away all the little clothes of my then 2 year old. About 5 huge bags. I brought them to the orphanage. After dropping the clothes off, I cried and cried and cried. Then I got pregnant.

chelle said...

tears too ... I have oodles of clothes I need to sort, sell, pack away ... they grow up so fast and we cannot just keep having new ones!!!!

CT Mom said...

How did you know??

I go through this every season, when I pack away my youngest's clothes to take to consignment or good will. Because she wears her older sister's hand-me-downs, I will look at a shirt or dress, and two kids' worth of memories come back to me.

Where's the Kleenex?

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