Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Emotional Attachments

In particular...to your children's baby clothes.

I remember the day when I finally broke down and decided that the bins upon bins of baby clothes, (particularly girl baby clothes) needed to go.  We thought, for reasons out of our control, that we would never birth another child into this world and we were going to be moving to Texas which meant no storage space for them.

Since I was never one of those moms who eagerly waited to give away their child's outgrown clothes, it was a one of the hardest decisions that I had to make.  But reflecting on words of wisdom from my good friend Deena, I managed (barely) to get through the process.  "What goes around comes around."

No.  No garage sale for these treasures.  Gosh, every time I held up an item and thought of putting a price tag on it, I saw a child of mine, on a particular day, back when they were toddling around.  Too painful to watch any Tom, Dick or Harry rifling through my memories during a garage sale.

No.  I needed to do something special with them. Something that would be therapeutic for me.

I decided that I didn't want money for them.  Instead, I wanted to give them to someone who would really appreciate them.  And I found her.

A sister to another friend of mine was going through a long and painful adoption journey through China.  Their journey had many ups and downs.  They were in their early 40's with no other children and were trying to be so patient.

They were waiting for their daughter and I knew right away how to ease the pain a little bit.  I would give her all of our infant-toddler girl clothes.  I would give her something to hold as well as a bit of excitement.

I lived in Illinois and she lived in Virginia so I dropped the clothes off at her sister's house (my friend) who went ahead and shipped them to Virginia.

The day I dropped them off I came home and had a panic attack.  What had I just done?!  I cannot tell you how sick and sad I felt.  It was a closure that I did not want...a closure that did not feel good.

I wanted to get in my van and drive across town, run up her front porch steps and break the door down in order to retrieve the lost memories.  But I didn't.

In time, the pain eased.  Our attention was focused on moving and that process kept me quite busy.  And I know for a fact that the gift of those clothes was truly appreciated.

Oh...I did keep some of my absolute favorites.  Actually, I still do!  I have one large, Rubbermaid trash can chuck full of "my favorites" that I will never depart with.  I dream of passing them down to grandchildren someday.

Do I wish I had them now?  Oh, it would be nice, but why fret over it?  What's done is done.  Besides, I am beginning to seriously think we are having a boy.

No.  We do not know the gender of Baby Joy.  I'm just thinking it because I still throw up every once in awhile (stopped vomiting by week 14 with the girls) and get this... I crave beer!  Beer and salad! LOL Isn't that crazy?!

I never realized that motherhood would be painful in so many ways.  Letting go and watching them grow.  I don't like it.  But then I need to remember, they are a gift to us...only on loan to us from Him.  That makes me very happy.

~  Patty  ~

8 comments:

  1. I remember that difficult task of giving away my daughter's baby clothes (especially the favorites), but I gave them to a man and his wife who had no work and had three children, the youngest exactly one year younger than my daughter. i could picture their little daughter wearing my daughter's clothes and it filled my heart with joy, actually. So I've kept doing it, and as daughter daughter out grows ((everything)), I start a bag and call this family when it's full. Giving the clothes away doesn't make us lose our memories of our "babies" in them. thank goodness for photos of them in our favorite outfits!! Oh I can't wait to see your little baby Joy!

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  2. me too.

    sometimes I like to smell them...sigh

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  3. Gardenia, that is such a beautiful gift to give that family. I eventually started doing that more when moved down here not only because of the lack of storage space but I didn't want to live a life of "what ifs".

    Allison, I am the same way :)

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  4. I usually crave beer when I am pregnant! Yes, I got rid of all the baby clothes as I don't expect to have any more babies (it has been 7 years and I am turning 50 this year!) It was very sad.

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  5. I had a few precious clothes too, but mostly my children were the recipient of such generosity as yours! A lady (the sister of one of my friends!), gave us boxes and boxes of her little girl's beautiful clothes when all of my girls were babes. Her gift was a such a blessing- one that I often think of.

    Also- your original comment did not post. :( I don't know what it was, but I would love the recipe.

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  6. Oh yes, I can imagine that feeling as I still clutch to many of my baby clothes:-) I love the advice you received and it's so true. You did such a wonderful thing by giving those clothes to someone in need. I need to let go and trust a lot more often...After all, God is never outdone in His generosity! I also feel weird about maternity clothes. Especially these last couple of pregnancies. I have a big box in the garage just waiting...Will there be another baby in our future?

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  7. Funny, I was just going through old clothes over the weekend. I have saved a few outfits from each child that I just can't part with. It is easier to part with clothes when they are going to a good home. I have given lots of girl clothes to my SIL and now some boy things to my sister. I love seeing the kids where the things that my kids have worn. I have one outfit that Jacob wore, I think it was the first thing I ever bought him, and I put it on him the same date each month for a year! I love seeing how he changed that first year he was with us. How's that for a total "first kid" thing to do!!! Ha!

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  8. I have a few special outfits that each of my five children have worn but we, too, suffer from the "no storage space" problem so I have had to let go of many of our baby clothes. We have a wonderful crisis pregnancy center nearby and I send a lot of things there.

    You will likely be inundated with gifts for baby Joy and will be glad to have the space for lots of cute little brand new things. :)

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