Reading http://www.elizabethstreet.com/living/letting-go-baby-clothes made me think beyond clothes, or rather thinking of baby clothes as symbols.
When visiting friends or going out my child does not act her age. In the most positive way possible. All think she is much older. She is a role model at the school. She is mature and wise beyond any of our would-like-to-believe-experienced lives. I like to believe it’s her name and its meaning and a bit of my genes J.
Yet with me, my child has an amazing ability to preserve that baby touch, feel, look and outlook. She cuddles at my chest with the same baby softness and gentleness a breastfed baby does. I cherish tremendously every single moment of this travel into not so recent past. Our morning and bed time routines are treasures both of us will preserve for a life time and beyond.
I had to grow up fast, given my childhood circumstances. I started walking at 9 months, talking, feeding and dressing myself at 12 months. I knew I have no one to rely on. There few traces of my childhood: couple of black and white pictures of a girl who looks too serious for her age. No toys, no baby cloths, no children books or drawings. It creates a void.
First unconsciously, now fully consciously I am filling in this gap with safekeeps. My special baby’s cloths have their shelves in my dressing room. Toys she outgrew go into special boxes. Most treasured little things she owned or touched or received from me and dear ones are in a special “treasures case”.
One might think you need a lot of space for it. Not at all, I have to say. I was amazed by the amount of things we gather, collect, keep or simply forget we have when we moved house. It’s easy to trade the space absorbed by old, unnecessary, insignificant things with room for cherished treasures you know will last for generations to come.
Undoubtedly, not every single piece of clothes are keepers. Especially knowing there are little ones who need them in view of their circumstances. Together with my kid we go through her clothes and decide together which piece stays for different special reasons: her first blue jeans, her first hoody, her first dress, or sun hat….. Plenty remains for the single mothers shelter we support. We both, thus, embrace the feeling of gratitude and solidarity, without letting go of any baby feels, touches and love, for a lifetime and beyond.