Friday, November 02, 2007

sorting through stories

Yesterday I did something that I've been meaning to do for weeks - no, months - I started sorting through the kids' clothes, figuring out what should be saved, donated, or sold on ebay. I've saved everything - EVERYTHING - going all the way back to 0-3 months. I have bins going up to 4T, and soon it will be time to buy one for the 5T items. Our storage space is pretty good, but there comes a time when you realize that your stuff is getting to be too much. Do you know what I mean?

The first bin that I opened was 0-3 months. And, as soon as the lid came off - voila! - I was transported back in time. There's my little one, tiny and precious and sleeping most of the day, in his little onesie, his soft cotton 'bag'. I can see him in the bassinet in our room, snuggled up and cozy. I see little fists, barely popping out of the sleeves. I see his tiny feet, legs, arms, hands. I swear I can even smell his soft, newborn skin. All the little outfits have such strong memories associated with them. I remember them - new, freshly washed and hanging in the closet, waiting for the baby's arrival. I remember them piling up in the clothes hamper, because we'd go through 2-3 outfits each day those first few weeks. Each memory is so vivid, so sharp. Thinking about it all makes me happy, but a little sad, too. Can I go back for one day? No? How about one hour? I'd take 5 minutes if you'd give it to me.

I decided that this bin was too much. I closed it up and looked for a different one.

Here we are - 18 months. Definitely toddler clothes. These didn't have to be changed as often, but they took their fair share of abuse, what with all the walking and crawling and climbing and toddling and exploring inside and outside. Wait a minute, some of these outfits are too recent to be here. What about this one - this one piece Polo rugby/longall? Didn't we just give this to Thomas for Christmas last year? Oh, wait. That was 2 years ago. How about this little jacket - there it is in the picture above. This is darling and in great condition. This could easily sell. But...gosh, it's cute. I remember my mom and I looking at it together in the store near her house. I remember when it was so big on Bobby that I had to roll the sleeves up three or four times before I'd see his dimpled fingers appear. I remember Thomas posing in it on the sidewalk in front of our house.

Hmmm. The 18 month bin is just as tricky to maneuver through as the newborn bin. Maybe harder, actually, because there are little voices are connected to these clothes. Tiny little voices saying, Mommy? Mawk an cheez? Mommy? Go for wok?

Ok. Well. Hmm. Enough of that. I closed this one, too.

You can see that I struggled a bit. After dipping into these 2 bins I decided to call it a day. Where did I end up? Well, so far I've decided to save everything and donate nothing. Actually, I did take a few pictures for ebay. I wonder if I'll get the nerve to follow through.

23 comments:

Cottage Contessa said...

Oh how I can relate to this! My daughter is soon to turn 14 and I still have lots of her baby & toddler clothes, just because they were too sweet to part with. I hope to pass them on her one day for her children. Each time I see them again I am instantly transported back in time and flooded with the most beautiful memories. Mummy memories......there's nothing like them!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

tulipmom said...

I loved this post. I too have every single piece of SB's old clothing packed away in bins. I keep telling myself that if this next baby is a girl, I will go through his baby and toddler clothes and donate some of them and sell the rest on ebay.

Who am I kidding? I'll probably feel the same way you do.

Deb said...

Hi Meg
What an adorable little jacket & hat set :-} This is such a sweet post. I loved reading about all the memories looking through the baby clothes brought back.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Jen@The Cottage Nest said...

Oh that is a tricky one. I've been able to part with most things but there were a couple that will have to be pried out of my cold dead hands.

Merci-Notes said...

Hi Meg!
Thank you for your sweet words for us. It is very hard to loose a pet.
As it is very hard to endure the passage of time...or rather looking back on the oh so sweet memeories of us and our children. Their thoughts and their voices expressing those thoughts. AHHH So Sweet.
Good luck with sorting, maybe it is just not time yet.
Hugs,
Mary
P.S. I am posting a couple of sneek peeks of your furniture at my post today...so maybe you do not want to see. They are little....and blurry (not on purpose).

Belle-ah said...

LOL...it never gets easier...at least for me. (((hugs))))

Laurie Anne said...

I know exactly how you feel. I had to sort clothes in "keep" and "maybe keep" the first time around. The second time it was easier. After a few more attempts I got a hat box for each kid and would fit I could keep. Of course, Ben is eight going on 9, so you still have plenty of time :0)

tommie said...

How cute....Fun memories.

I do this once a year. I keep a few favorites and donate the rest to cousins. Once we had a boy, then girl....we were done. We move way too much to be hauling all that stuff everywhere!

Nunnie's Attic said...

Sweet memories! There are a few that you want to keep for your children's children. But the rest...Oh hell I don't know. I don't get rid of anything.

Love,
Julie

Kellie said...

Do you live in my house? We have pretty much everything from the past five years in bins labeled by size as well, stacked in the closet of our extra bedroom. I know I should go through it, get rid of stuff, etc. But I just can't. I don't know if we will have another child, but you never know. So I wait and put it off. But what do those clutter people always say? You'll always have the memory but you don't need the stuff... I'll just keep telling myself that...

becky said...

Love the jacket with the weenie dog...reminds me of our dog, Dach Holiday(he was a Christmas present).
Precious children, precious pets, precious memories...keep the clothes until your heart says it's time.

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I has saved every bit of baby stuff thinking we would have another child. When Lucas was 5, I decided to let it all go. I had a garage sale and boy did the neighborhood eat it up. I made almost $700! But, yes I went through a few of those memory lanes. Wait til you watch some old videos.

Rosemary said...

I understand Meg. They grow up too fast!!
Isn't it funny that seeing one piece of clothing can trasport us back to a place in time.
Have a great weekend.
Rosemary

violetlady said...

My daughter is now 41 and I still have her baby clothes --- don't feel bad. In fact, I have some baby clothes of mine!!

Alice said...

What sweet memories. They grow up so fast.

hqm said...

I held on to a lot...then I had a niece one year after Lulu was born and most of it went to her...it was hard! I kept a few of my very favorites...I peak at them once in a while! Oh, and I have ALL the Lilly stuff I have plans for that!
Fun post!

Southern Fried Girl said...

Awww, I bet that is hard. I am not good with parting with things like that.

kristen said...

I've kept a few very special things, but have otherwise given my son's clothes to my nephew (a year younger) or to close friends. I've somehow felt okay about handing down special things to special people.

That's not to say I still don't hang on to way too much stuff...

Sara O'Brien said...

Where did your SIL get her dining room Chandelier?!?! I've been searching all over to no avail!!

Meg said...

Hi Sara,

Thanks for your comment. I believe Lisa got her chandelier from a small home shop in New England...about 7+ years ago?? She will let me know if I am right, and if she has any names to pass on - be it the shop or artist.

Good luck with your search!
Meg

Lisa said...

The chandelier is from a company called Charn & Co. and it was purchase in Concord, MA about 7 years ago. I think they are still in business if you google them. Good Luck!

Jolene George said...

i can only imagine the memories that came flooding back as you looked through these bins. I love this sweet post.

paige said...

such precious thoughts.
its funny how just one look at a little smocked dress makes me wish they were babies again ( well, for a moment anyway!)