I have a storage bin of
baby clothes nestled in the back of a closet in my house. This bin is filled
with onesies, footed pajamas, tiny sweaters, "Baby's First Christmas" outfits
and the clothes each of my sons wore when I brought them home from the hospital
(or, in the case of my son who was born at home, on the day he was born). I
have no plans to get rid of this bin. I have no plans to sell or give away
Some people might think it's
strange that I'm holding onto a whole box of clothes that neither I nor anyone
else in my family will ever use again. It's way too sentimental. It's wasteful.
It's even silly.
Indeed, it may be all of
those things. But whenever I've tried to part with these clothes, I feel a pain
and tugging somewhere at the base of my throat. It's as if I physically cannot
part with my big box of baby clothes. I've given away the crib, the high chair,
the baby toys and many bags full of other baby clothes. I've let go of bottles
and baby shoes and toys. But the clothes in this bin are special to me. These
clothes are nearly impossible for me to let go.
But there's still a small corner in my heart that will never quite be OK with being done having babies.
They are my last tangible
reminders of what it was like to hold my boys—now 9, 6 and 3—when they
fit, completely and snuggly, in my arms. For instance, each one of them wore
the red, blue and gray-striped sweater with the periwinkle button on the
shoulder when they were 3 months old. One of them came home from the
hospital in a pale green jumper. One of them wore the white fuzzy romper on his
first Christmas. One of them spent his first few months on Earth in a
collection of "Rock 'n' Roll Baby" clothes.
When I hold these particular
clothes in my hands, I can almost feel my baby boys again. For whatever reason,
they are the items that tie me most closely not just to my babies but to my
baby-mom self—to the self that I will never return to again. They connect me
to a foregone chapter in my life and to the babies who have grown into little
boys and who will someday become grown men.
But there's still a small
corner in my heart that will never quite be OK with being done having babies.
And like the storage bin tucked away in a small corner of my house, I can hold
onto and honor what this part of my heart desires without ever doing anything