Monday, June 22, 2009

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

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.

36 comments:

Mary Beth said...

Because I know you have TONS of TIME on your hands, but have you ever considered taking a swatch of each piece of clothing that has such meaning and putting it aside to make a quilt? Or in my case, having someone else make a quilt for me cause I don't sew. I don't know if you'd be able to get a large enough piece that was recognizable as the shirt/pants etc. without rendering in unusable for anyone else, though. I always love reading about people's quilts where they have a story for the squares:)

Momisodes said...

Oh Kat. I'm so sorry. But I am so proud of you for doing this. I'm currently doing the same thing with my daughters clothes and toys, and it is so tough.

I keep telling myself that at least I have photos and videos to treasure. But really, how does the time seem to go by so quickly!?

Mom24 said...

I feel for you and I understand completely. I miss my babies desperately as well. Time goes too fast. Take care of yourself.

Trooper Thorn said...

You will miss the baby stage even more when they are teenagers and yell at you that you have ruined their lives and they hate you.

BeautifulWreck said...

I feel the same way. Recently was going through baby clothes to give to a friend and was overcome with emotion. Bittersweet.

Elaine A. said...

I just gave a TON of stuff away to some of my mom friends here who have baby boys. I sat in the living room with them while they went through it all and was SO glad it was going to people I knew. And of course there were a few things that I just could NOT part with, so I kept some things that have strong memories...

Karen Deborah said...

awh Kat you are the kind of mom that should have 10 kids, so full of love.
Your right these days are also full of precious love and soon you will be holding a baby, your new baby and she doesn't have to be the last one. Why not trust God with the size of your family? Your hearts and home are plenty big enough for all the babies you can hold.

Emily said...

It is so tough to let go! We donated our infant carrier and stroller this last weekend and I cried the whole way there!

Riahli said...

oh yes I've been through this very same thing. It's was hard for me to part with the memories and come to terms with the fact that my cute little baby boys, weren't babies any more. I feel like I blinked and it all went by. I kept some of my favorites too, there really isn't any purpose for them I just pull them out every now and then, reminisce, sigh and put them away again. I can only imagine how sappy I will be when they are actually grown!

Robyn said...

Don't worry you have one more to do all that with.

Kelly said...

That post tied my heart up in a knot. I feel like that every season as I pack up Aiden's clothes to give away and know that I no longer have a little one to pass them on down to.

lime said...

aww, your memories will stay with you. no doubt.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Reading this, I felt like I was in the car with you. Glad to know I'm not the only one who cried parting with little clothes. Somehow the smaller the clothes, the bigger the tears...

Tonya said...

I did that this summer with all my boy and girl clothes as we are done but I too kept some for sentimental reasons. Just think one day we will have grandbabies!!!

Octamom said...

I am baby clothes sentimental myself and every time I thin out the collection, I have a good crying jag--and then I think I ovulate....

Blessings!

Jeni said...

A cousin of my Mom's only child -a boy -was born back in the late 30s and at that time, they often wore dresses on baby boys. That cousin gave my Mom one of her son's dresses when I was born and Mom used it as my baptismal dress. Mom saved it and both my girls wore it as their baptismal outfit. My son would have done that too if I'd had my way but my ex wouldn't hear of his son wearing a white dress so the boy got a mint green and white little shirt, pants and a cute bow tie. I still have the baptismal dress -just waiting for another baby to wear it someday in the future. (Mandy insisted on buying long white dress for Maya's baptism and a special white suit for Kurt's so no family tradition upheld there then.)I tried to save a couple little special outfits from each of my kids but sadly, no longer have anything except my own dress as the upstairs of the house caught fire in 1991 and many of the treasures of that type were lost in the flames.
Just today though, Mandy and I were both waxing sentimental about Kurtis and how big he is getting, so fast and how we miss the "baby" days with him, knowing unless my son gets married and has children of his own, this will be the end of production of grandchildren here for me. An event that is so happy on one hand -to see them grow, learning stuff daily and yet, so hard to let go of the sweet softness of the babies they were. Welcome to that club for Mothers everywhere.

anya said...

Beautiful post.

Lisa said...

oh honey....I feel you! I remember before Anna was born going through the clothes & all of the girl stuff, not knowing if it would be used again....and spending the whole afternoon crying. They do grow up WAY too fast!

Dawn said...

I feel for you and I understand. I got a little teary the other day after I sold the last baby item we owned...the running stroller/bike trailer. There is nothing "baby" left in my house now except the few keepsakes I've saved.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I KNOW! I hear you. I just couldn't fathom how fast life was until I started this whole fast track of parenthood...

Laura McIntyre said...

Time just never stops does it, babies grow to quick :(

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

That will be me. I was all choked up just reading it. The little clothes are the hardest to let go.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh, now why'd you go and do that... I'm all weepy now too. You are a brave woman bundling up those things when the hormones are still raging, and you're right-- someone is really going to enjoy your gift.

I'm going to go kiss on my babies now.

Krystyn said...

Awww...now I want to go cuddle my babies and they are in bed.

Good thing you have the memories, right?

Moannie said...

I have the cotton mittens used by daughter in the maternity hospital 43 years ago. Every so often I find them again, have a binge of nostalgia and put them back. All else has long gone...we are talking 50, 46 and 43 years, but I still have my kids.

tweetey30 said...

I felt that way the last time I took the crib down for Bri. She is my second child and last. I had my tubes tied after her.

ewe are here said...

Awwwww.... yes, time marches on, but soon you'll have another one to start the march with again.

We do.

check your email.

Fire Hunt said...

You made me cry I can not give them up I hope I can soon.

Midwest Mom said...

The first time I sorted through my baby clothes, I cried too. There is something about the smallness of them... and the memories... It gave me a hollow feeling in my chest. (Still does.)

There is nothing wrong with missing the babies your little men once were.

No matter how big my boys grow, I'll always think of them -- in some small way -- as my babies.

Eat some chocolate. Get those endorphins flowing again.

;) - Julia

Kristen said...

I agree friend. I truly agree. I want to just whisper stop growing, stop growing!!

There is just not enough time to soak up the kids is there?

Hugs to you!

Chris said...

I've done better with each child, but still they are growing wings and flying before you know it.

It's hard -- luckily each stage has it's own rewards.

Laski said...

I JUST went through this! I have piles of green/white/yellow. But parting with my blue, my baby boy's little outfits . . . it made me melt. I was a mess. Then, out of the blue a call came. A young woman in our mom's group had delivered early and was completely unprepared and on a very tight budget.

I packed up JR's things (TRUST ME, there are still boxes I just can't and probably won't part with) and headed to her house.

The look on her face . . . worth every tear I shed.

Every single tear . . .

Just think mama, you have so, so much to look forward to!

Laura said...

Before I comment, I have to grab a tissue! I did the exact same thing two years ago...and to top it off, once I saw the girlie's little face, I even pared down the gender nutural clothes even more and went to all the pinks and purples!!!!

HUGS!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ah, I've got a couple drawers of old outfits saved. Sentimental old fool indeed.

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

I can't bear to get rid of my son's outgrown clothes either. I was able to hold on to them for awhile, before we knew we were having a girl...and nobody thought a thing.Now I feel pressure to donate them...and I just can't do it!

MomOf4 said...

This made me cry too. My youngest just turned 6 months. He will be my last. These baby years are so very precious and go by so very quickly. My advice? Take lots of pictures and video. :)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson