and its bitter-sweet. We’re not planning on having any more children (or at least not in the foreseeable future) and so there is no need anymore for tiny onesies and cute sets in size 0-3.
I thought it would be the stylish things, the sets I saw in shops and went ‘Oh I neeeeeed to buy that, its adorable’ that I would miss. I thought it would be the designer outfits and pretty dresses bought as gifts or for special occasions that I cared about moving on. I thought that the tiny booties and frilly rompers would be what I gave any consideration to when I bagged up these clothes for charity, or eBay. I was wrong.
What I do care about, and look at wistfully while putting them gently in the ‘not for charity pile’, in the ‘for my grandchildren pile’ are the clothes that got spit up on and stained. The tatty onesies that they lived in throughout those early newborn days and weeks. The funny mismatched knitted cardigans that were hand-me-downs or gifts from friends.
My babies were never designer babies. They still aren’t; we never had that dream for them. For some reason I thought that the few outfits I did spend a little more on would be all the more important to me because they looked ‘extra nice’. In fact, as with most things with children and babies, and even in life, what matters is the memories.
I don’t care that G wore a frilly dress to a dinner out, once. It was a nice dress. She looked adorable. But that doesn’t encapsulate all that is important in those fragile newborn days, where everything is emotional, and unknown and you’re a little lost. Even with V – she is my second, you’d think you’d somehow figure it out. But the hormones sweep you up and its still the frozen, sleepless hours at the odd times that babies keep that are important. It doesn’t matter that I looked like a troll that hadn’t showered in three days in those precious moments. Nor does it matter that my girls weren’t wearing their snazzy clothes, or that there were spit stains down the front of them, or their socks didn’t match.
Because it is in those unprepared moments, that aren’t glamorous, the moments you don’t expect or pose for that your baby will smile up at you and gurgle for the first time. Or roll over, or learn to walk. She doesn’t care that her leggings don’t match her top or that there is a stain on her onesie. Neither do you, because you’re too caught up in smiling back at her and thinking ‘How did I manage to make a tiny human this awesome.’ It is in these unplanned, snatched moments of beauty that you grow – both parent and child, and neither of you give a damn what the other looks like.
And so when I go back to bagging up baby clothes (I stopped, I got distracted and now I’m writing this. Oops), I’m going to make nice little bundles of all the snazzy clothes I thought would matter. The cute little outfits that I had visions for, and I’m going to put them firmly in the ‘for someone else pile.’ Maybe someone else will make memories with them, but we’re quite happy here with our mismatched clothes and odd shaped cardigans. They are the ones that matter to me and the ones I’ll keep in the back of the closet to take out and look at every so often and remark ‘Aren’t they tiny? Do you remember….?’
These are the clothes we made memories in. The first smile, first laugh, poopslosion extraordinaire, first food, last boob, slept all night, didn’t sleep at all, first tooth clothes. One day maybe my grandchildren will wear them too.