Hiding tears

I wrote this when little Ethan was just three weeks old, yet I remember it as if it were yesterday. 

This past weekend we were sorting through a few boxes to try and finally finish my little boy’s nursery (yes, it is true what they say about the second child, but in my defence he did arrive early). Truth be told I had been stalling on these particular boxes because I knew it would be a tough decision to pass on Amy’s clothes from when she was a baby.

My husband had not anticipated how hard it would be for me to part with these memories, boy was he in for a surprise! Tipping the clothes on the floor he said “this should be easy, you’ve already got her teddy bear made out of her baby clothes.” This was true, I had a special keepsake bear made out of a few specially selected outfits, but even though this would always be treasured it did not make it any easier to part with these clothes, these memories.

As I sat looking through the clothes memories came flooding back to me of baby Amy wearing this on the swing, or baby Amy wearing that in the garden…the memories were so vivid and it didn’t take long before the tears were rolling down my cheeks. I turned my head away so Wayne couldn’t see, but he did and knowing me so well he didn’t have to ask what was wrong. Amy, however, didn’t understand how happy mom had gone to crying mom in such a short space of time.

My sweet, caring girl (how did we get so lucky!) quickly came to wipe my tears and said “what’s wrong mom, don’t cry.” I was so choked up I couldn’t reply, so Wayne told her “Mom is remembering all the times you wore these clothes.”

I carried on looking through the clothes and made three piles, husband looked a bit confused. Finally working up enough courage to ask the emotional mother being forced to throw out her baby girl’s clothes, he asked me what the piles were for. “This pile is for giving away, this pile is for Amy’s memory box, and this pile is for me to keep.” Of course that last pile was the biggest.

To his credit he didn’t say anything, and knowing that he will let me keep them for as long as I need to is one of the many reasons why I love this man.

It seems so final to give away your babies clothes…like you’re acknowledging that that door is closed now. For me that is a very difficult thing to do, and something I’m not ready to do right now. I had always thought I would have two girls, so finding out we were having a little boy was quite a surprise! Giving away the pink is in a way admitting that there won’t be another girl to wear the polka dots of her sister, and that I won’t get to brush the curls and play dolls again. Of course there will be lots of blue clothes, and cars and dinosaurs and dump trucks, but this doesn’t make it any easier to let go of the idea of having another baby.

And so we will pack away a few treasured outfits, and one day I will unpack them and probably cry a little more while remembering my beautiful little baby girl in her pink. And I’ve always got that keepsake bear too, but for that we better have a few more tissues on hand. In the meantime it’s now time to start saving the blue little outfits too, for the keepsake bear, and a few more just because…looks like we’re going to need a bigger box!

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