As summer ends and the cooler weather blows in, this is the time of year when I do a major purge of the closets! I do this periodically throughout the year (because I have a phobia of clutter), but the fall season is definitely busy with clearing out things that my kids have outgrown over the summer…partially because they seem to grow more in the summer (Have you noticed this same thing?) and partially because I know Christmas is going to bring new pajamas, new Nike sweatshirts, new North Face jackets, etc. You, too?
Anyway, as I have been clearing out the closets and the dressers (and that blasted playroom that I promise you is going to be the death of me), I could not ignore the two totes of baby clothes sitting in my youngest son’s closet.
There they were…
Over the past year or so, I had cleaned out baby clothes that were worn…or stained…or gifted to us by someone who picks out ugly things (I know you know what I’m talkin’ about here.)…but I had kept the nicer things that I loved…the pieces of clothing that I would pass down if we were to have a third son…
…but you see, after this third pregnancy (which gifted us with a sweet baby girl whose clothes I’m trying to purge as she grows out of them), I have pretty much decided that I’m done having babies.
Am I 100% sure about this? Nope.
Am I 90% sure about this? Nope.
Am I 65% sure about this? Maybe.
Is God ultimately in charge? Yes.
Anyway, with the feelings I had been having about my third pregnancy possibly being my last…and with the excitement we’ve been feeling about our older two being a smidge more independent (and getting out of diapers and away from sippy cups – Yes, hallelujah.), I felt that it was time to do a major clean out of these two totes of clothes.
I put it off…and I put it off…until one night I was in my little guy’s closet…and I opened the bins…and I started sorting. I love to sort, but I knew this sort was going to be painful.
It was actually my kiddos’ bedtime, but I didn’t care – I was a woman on a mission. If I quickly did this little project, I could get it over with….kind of like ripping off a band-aid. (Yes, I realize I have issues.)
When my littlest man realized that I was in his room to stay for awhile (and that he didn’t have to go to sleep), he was more than thrilled and decided to start “helping” me. Ahhh, yes – He decided that his job was going to be to unfold all of my perfectly folded/sorted piles. Uh-huh. Thanks, buddy.
I quickly realized that I was going to have to give him a job to do, so I started handing him the things I wanted to get rid of, and he was in charge of putting them in a laundry basket that I had decided to use for sorting.
One problem. He’s two, and he moves fast. Every time I handed him something, he ran it over to the basket and came back for something else. In order to keep him entertained (and from unfolding everything!), I had to be more decisive than I’ve ever been in my entire life. (You should go couch shopping with me. It’s fun. Not really.)
Anyway, in under an hour, I was able to sort both bins – keeping only the pieces that meant a.l.o.t. to me: the outfit my boys wore home from the hospital, their first Christmas sweater, their first Easter outfit, their first Puma track suit (For some reason, that was important to me.), their first pair of shoes, their first swimming outfit, you get the idea. Since they were born about 3.5 seconds apart, they pretty much wore the same things. Resourceful, huh? I narrowed my baby clothes keepsakes down to half of a small little gray tote, and the items that I left in there…well, you wouldn’t be able to rip them out of my cold dead hands if you tried. #intense
When I finished this project, I put my toddler to bed (He was extremely disappointed that the fun was over.), and I got ready to head downstairs with my laundry basket…okay, it actually ended up being two laundry baskets full of memories. MEMORIES! As I made my way downstairs, my hubby found me in a sobbing heap of tears. Wanna know what he said? He carefully walked toward me and with a concerned look on his face asked, What did I do? Now why in the world would this sweet man of mine assume he had done something to upset me? He had been downstairs making himself a gigantic deli sandwich complete with 16 large slices of pepperoni. (I’m sorry. I realize that such detail isn’t really necessary.)
Anyway, as soon as he saw the laundry baskets full of baby clothes, he knew what had been goin’ down upstairs. He had probably thought I would save this project until the kids were a little older…and I was a little more stable…but in that moment I think he realized that he is married to a woman who will probably always be a little wacky…and a whole lot attached to all things related to her kiddos. God love that man.
A couple of days later, I loaded up my mini-van (Doesn’t that sound cool?) with all of the purged baby clothes. We are passionate about supporting our local crisis pregnancy center, and while I was excited to send our things to those sweet mamas there who have chosen life for their little ones, I once again got a little emotional. Hubby noticed (This time, he was reheating leftovers – chicken and rice to be exact.), and he was more prepared this time with words of comfort such as, “I know this is hard for you.” and “I understand. It feels kind of final, doesn’t it?” and “Hey, do you want to watch 48 Hours when you’re done loading the car?”
He knows me well.
When I finished loading the car, I made myself a cup of hot tea, rubbed lavender oil on my neck and shoulders (Maybe that stuff helps. Maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know.) and we settled in for a murder mystery.
The next day, I made my delivery to the pregnancy center. I felt at peace. I was good…or at least 65% good.