I was doing so well. I thought I would get through it all unscathed. After all, they were just clothes, and all my boys got to wear them so I had plenty of opportunity to use them.
This morning I rounded up the three bins full of baby boy clothes and started to sort through. Of course the boys oohed and aahed over all the cute fuzzy sleepers, the little jogging suits, and the many truck and bulldozer tee shirts. But I had my own favorites. My fingers ran over each one, remembering when I would rock my babies to sleep in the precious outfits. And then I would quickly get distracted with the boys' questions over the next outfit. There was no time to dwell on each outfit. And there was too much excitement, happiness, and chaos for tears.
I had managed to find a couple of white sweaters and a few green and yellow sleepers for baby girl to use, and even a few outfits I kept for sentimental value. And when I was finally finished going through the beautiful items that kept each of my babies clothed for their first two years I had five overflowing garbage bags of memories to be donated.
I packed up the boys and the bags and we drove to the donation site. It made me feel much better knowing that these clothes would be a huge help to some new mother, and would most likely bring a whole new set of sweet memories for her, too.
Then suddenly, and without warning, as I drove out of the parking lot a huge lump grew in my throat and tears began rolling down my cheeks. All those years I spent holding, rocking, and cradling my baby boys had gone by so fast and seemed to be even further away now that the clothes were gone. Never again will I be able to hold their warm, heavy, baby bodies close to me as they fall asleep. It all just seemed too sweet, too precious, too blessed to let myself believe that their babyhood was truly over. But I couldn't deny it anymore.
I cried the whole way home. And for the next couple of hours that followed.
I am so thankful for the little men that I have, but I miss my babies too. Time has just gone by too fast. I want to remember every single moment. I want to remember them just as they were. And just as they are. I want to remember every outfit. Every feature. Every facial expression. Every emotion. But I'm afraid it doesn't work that way. And all too soon I will be looking back, remembering. Again.