Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saying Goodbye to the Baby Years

Last month, silently and reluctantly, I put my son’s remaining baby clothes into a bag to donate.  I kept a few pieces of the preemie clothing to help me remember how tiny he was when he came home from the hospital.  

Even though my youngest hadn’t used it in months, my husband finally broke down the baby crib. We had used the same crib for both my daughter and my son. I was accustomed to seeing its dark mahogany slats and remembered how many times I gently laid my sleeping babes down for a nap.  I also remembered the other times when I heard cries or “momma” coming from that same crib, their little hands reaching up towards me to pick them up.

Although nothing’s ever for sure, we’re saying goodbye to the baby years.  We have decided that four is a great size for our family.  I would gladly welcome another baby. However, as much as I want to keep all those cozy sleepers and adorable onesies, I know someone else could probably use those items….now. 

It’s hard to give away or sell your children’s clothing and toys.  In fact, every time I pack up some clothing, my mind is flooded with memories. 

I brought you home from the hospital in the footed star sleeper. I carefully took your picture in it, against the backdrop of a matching blue blanket.  I remember those simple white long sleeved shirts with the mittens you wore when you  had to stay in the NICU, and then again in the pediatric unit.  And that pink and lime striped dress was the one my firstborn wore for her first didn't like wearing a dress and later changed into shorts.

I have a really difficult time giving up the baby clothing that made my life as a new mom so much easier.  I recall coming home from the hospital with my daughter who was 5 lbs 11 ounces.  I had thought that newborn clothing was so tiny. However, it was swimming on my daughter who was a little over a month premature. I was so ill-prepared for her early arrival. I remember my mother and mother-in-law going to scour the stores for “less than six pound” clothing.  Even after my daughter gained weight, I hung onto my preemie clothing, just in case.  When my son was over a month early too, I was so glad I had those small, faded Winnie the Pooh onesies.  

I knew this day would come. I enjoy watching my kids grow up but I enjoy the memories too. Luckily I have plenty of pictures, videos and keepsakes to keep the baby years alive.

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