Monday, June 20, 2011

Folding up memories

This past weekend, I cleaned out my toddler's closet to make room for size 3T clothes. I carefully folded the size 2T and 24 month outfits as if I were going to stow them in the attic, as I have been doing for the past nine years with all my children's clothes. But it suddenly hit me that I wouldn't be packing his clothes up for the next child. Instead, they'd be making a trip to Goodwill. Charlie is, as we lovingly refer to him, the caboose. When he outgrows toys and clothes, they no longer move to the attic. They move on to another family.

When Oliver, my oldest, outgrew clothes, I'd happily pack them up into tubs, and Dave would move them to the attic. When Henry came along, we did the same. We always knew we'd have three kids. And, as blessings would have it, we did. And, to top it all off, all three were boys, and so all of those clothes that were so carefully packed away were put to good use. Many many memories were folded away in those tubs. As fun as it is to unpack them for the next child, it's equally as heartbreaking to have to give them up.

Tonight, as I folded my daily two loads of laundry, I had to remind myself not to resent the process. Pretty soon, all of the little pairs of shorts and popsicle-stained tee shirts would be outgrown and not needed.

Tomorrow I'll be taking two more bags of clothes to Goodwill. I sure hope the next little boys who wear them create happy memories in them too.

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