Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sentimental Switch

It's that time of year again. The task pressured me for a month, demanding I set a time to complete it. Last Saturday was the day. The day I switched out everyone's fall and winter clothes for summer. The day I said goodbye to countless outfits, each one with a memory. Some are stained, some barely worn, some more lovely than others, but, they are all special.
I am a firm believer that "stuff" is not invaluable- it's stuff, it's finite, it's all going to pass away. I wouldn't for a second think of holding on to every piece of clothing. I know the emotions this task conjures up are really about the relentless passage of time, my babies growing up, about memories that I won't grow out of and that won't ever need to be packed away.
Goodness, our kids love to grow up, to climb the ladder a little closer to "big" each year. Every birthday is a medal worn proudly. Of course, every parent shares the joy and pride in our children's accomplishments, their daily growth. I cheer with and for them for every new skill, every success and lesson learned, but, Oh, my heart can't help but crush a little, weep a little every time I'm reminded of how fast the time has gone, how fast the time will go, reminded that in a blink, these days will be a memory. The clear changing of a season, the boxing up of a set of sweet memories- this child in this sweet sweater, with a memory of a day or a moment attached, this shirt worn as many times as I'd let her wear it she loved it so much, etc... There is also the astonishment of how much each girl has grown in the last year. Because they are all 18 months apart, each one passes down her wardrobe directly to the next sister in line the following year. This always gets me. This time, I was amazed at the size of Patie's old flip flops, as I threw them in Lily's shoe bin. "These fit Patie last year?! Baby girl, you have grown! Lily, how in the world do those fit on your feet?!" Today I watched Lily run around in an outfit that was so unmistakably Patience last year. Now she couldn't fit in to it- no way.

In the task of changing out clothes I'm always a bit aghast at the way time seems to sneak up on me, and never ceases to surprise me in it's swift progression. And now, these moments in these days of our time together in this unique season of life- it's so clearly over, and moved on to a new chapter, whether I like it or not. And we have a new wardrobe to prove it.
It's a new wardrobe I am hopeful for- as I tenderly folded and packed away the things saved for another sister, and sweetly passed on those things we no longer needed to someone else- Oh, it is tender. But, I worked diligently, with intention, knowing my hours to finish this task were limited before my girls would require the use of their room again. I worked steadily, letting the feelings run their course as I folded and sorted. I never for a moment want to hold my babies back, but, oh, it does hurt to let them go. Little by little, as the years go by we will choose to let them grow up and out, the seasons changing with a force I'll never be comfortable with. But, I do have hope for this new season to come, already praising God for the precious memories these new things will hold when this task finds me again.


mspsae said...

yep, those are my sentiments on the mounds of clothes. I'm always reminded too of how much we have compared with so many. Not too many people around the world get to choose from a drawer-full of options.

Kristen said...

What a sweet post!

I think it would be nice to be able to share clothes with kids. Now, I just get rid of what they have grown out of. That makes me sad...........

Have a great Tuesday Megan! :)

Kimberly said...

You've got me all choked up. Beautiful post, Megan, beautiful.

amanda said...

i hate to be a copy cat...but my thoughts exactly.

just beautiful.

and i too am teary.

thanks megan :)

kelly said...

I know what you mean about passing the clothes down -- I'm always incredulous that something that just fit Hannah now fits Emme. But I also get really excited when it comes to changing-out-clothes time. I love the freshness of changing wardrobes!

I also wanted to tell you that you have a wonderful way with words, so poetic and eloquent; I really admire that gift you've been given!

Eva said...

It's so funny that your post was about this today b/c I JUST got done putting away a whole bunch of Noah's clothes this morning. I felt all the same things. Except I kept wondering if we'd have another boy who would ever wear Noah's old things... Who knows.

Lisa said...

Oh, Mama Sap!

You said that all so well. I just hate doing this every season....I can handle Goosey's now because they get passed on the Lulu, but I really struggle with Lulu's stuff....will there be another baby some day? Another little girl?

Good post, Mama!