My Convertible Life

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Growing boy

I think consignment sales are great for baby and toddler clothes -- especially in the first two years, babies grow through the clothes so fast that they hardly get messed up and it doesn't make sense to spend a lot on new clothes. Every time I go to a consignment sale, I think about all the things I have stored away in closets and the attic and I promise that next time I'll bring some items to consign.

And so now that Junius is 3 1/2, I'm finally forcing myself to make good on that promise. Earlier today I started wading through the three large storage bins filled with baby boy clothes -- I've already passed along the generous hand-me-downs we received from friends, but there were plenty of things left that seemed like good candidates for a sale.

As I sorted through the clothes, I realized I was putting more pieces back in the bin than I was pulling out. Every time I looked at a little striped romper or tiny velcro sandals, all I could see was my sweet baby Junius. It was the outfit he wore on his first day of preschool, the swimsuit he wore for his first trip to the beach, the shoes he wore when he started walking on his own. I was amazed at how many things I'd forgotten that came rushing back, the clothes serving as photo reminders of how much he's grown. Keeping the clothes makes no sense, but somehow giving them away started to feel like letting go of my baby.

And that's exactly what I have to do.

He's trying so hard to be big -- writing his name (or at least a backwards "jumpin J"), riding his bike, using the potty, sleeping through the night (thank goodness!) -- and it's my job to help him, even if that just means getting out of the way. Even though it's scary sometimes, it's also exciting to watch him grow. And keeping his baby clothes isn't going to slow anything down.

The clothes he's wearing these days aren't likely to make it as hand-me-downs -- his jeans have holes in the knees and his shoes are so stinky that I have to keep them outside. So I will keep just a few favorites from those crazy baby days and let go of the rest.

Who knows? Maybe one day I'll have a grandson who can wear that seersucker onesie from Junius' first portrait -- it's the one that my mother-in-law saved from when my husband was a baby. Guess I'm not the only mommy who had trouble letting go of her baby boy.

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