Scene 23: The Baby Clothes

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 2 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a woman sitting on the ground, plastic bins overflowing with baby clothes around her. She folds and organizes while she talks.]

Me

“Every six months or so, I sit down with a gigantic pile of clothes that the kids have grown out of, and organize them by size and season. I button all the buttons, zip all the zippers, and stack them into neat piles. Then, I seal them tightly into extra-large ziploc bags and put them into Rubbermaid bins that I buy on sale after the most recent holiday. Orange and black for Halloween…green and red for Christmas. I put labels on the bins with the sizes, which almost always curl up on the edges and pop off inconveniently, and then I lug them to closets and basements for storage.”

“Or at least that is what I did.”

“As my youngest child gets older, I don’t need to keep dozens of bins of clothes that no one will ever fit in again. What’s the point, right? But here I sit, trying to sift through what to donate, what to sell, and what to give to my sister…I can’t seem to let go.

[Holds up a baby outfit.]

Me

“This little number? My daughter wore this at my grandparent’s anniversary party, and had an exploding diaper all over my grandma’s white dress pants. That was quite the adventure, especially for my grandma.”

[Holds up a plaid hat.]

Me

“And this hat? My son wore this all summer long when he was a baby. I can still remember his sweet smile as we sat on the beach at Lake Michigan, with his little plaid hat perched on his head.”

[Holds up a worn sleeper.]

“And all three of my kids wore this sleeper – you can’t get rid of the infamous zippered green sleeper…perfect for middle of the night  diaper changes when you can’t see to fasten snaps.”

[Smells the sleeper.]

“I can still catch a whiff of that baby smell…breast milk and diaper cream, baby shampoo and spit-up…and I don’t know if I can let these little icons of their childhood go. There is something about the feel of that little terrycloth sleeper in my fingers that brings me back to the glider in the corner of the nursery.”

“So, I will take the worn t-shirt that was my son’s favorite when he was two, the pilled dress that my daughter wore constantly, and their ‘coming home from the hospital’ outfits…and I’ll button the buttons, zip the zippers, and stack them into neat piles. I’ll seal them tightly into extra-large ziploc bags and try to fit them into just one Rubbermaid bin. I’ll put a label on the bin that says, ‘Baby Memories’,  hoping that it doesn’t peel off too quickly, and lug it downstairs to put on a shelf.”

“And someday, on a day when my kids are taller than me, when their life revolves around school and sports and jobs, I’ll pull it down and crack it open. I’ll pull out that little green sleeper and feel the terrycloth once more, remembering that moment when they fit in the corner of my arm. I’ll sit and sniff the fabric, hoping for one more whiff of that elusive baby smell, and maybe I’ll cry a few tears…like I am now.”

[Closes the lid of the bin, all the clothes packed away. Stands up, picks up the bin, and walks off the stage. Lights down.]

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2 Comments

  1. Rachel!

    • That didn’t post right. I meant to say that your post made me cry. I get it. Ooooh, how I get it.

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