I love baby clothes. They hold my dearest memories in their soft fabric. The lingering smell of Dreft makes my heart swell with joy, just as it did when my daughter was tiny enough to fit into them.
I love maternity clothes, too. I remember how my round, swollen belly looked beneath the shirts and the large elastic paneled pants. Some women hate pregnancy and the havoc it wreaks on their bodies. For me, though, it was the time when I felt the most beautiful. I basked in the glow of expectant motherhood.
Recently I dug through all the boxes full of clothes that Leah has outgrown. I was giving some away to a friend. I pulled a yellow onesie out of the newborn sizes and held it up.
“Leah, look!” I said. “This is my favorite.”
She grinned at me and announced, “It’s for a baby!” She was rather proud of herself for that observation.
My heart sank just a little when I realized that she is becoming more little girl and less baby all the time. The onesie had little barns and farm animals all over it. It was teeny tiny. The memory of her wearing it, the little tuft of fine hair peaking in the middle of her head, seemed like just yesterday. Time flies and they outgrow all the favorites so quickly.
It doesn’t help that at this point I am hard put to keep that little nudist dressed at all. After chasing her around the house for twenty minutes, garments in hand, I can get her into an adorable outfit only to find her standing in a diaper five minutes later, grinning from ear to ear. At least she hasn’t figured out the tabs on the diaper yet. It’s only a matter of time.
It’s amazing that clothing, mere objects, can say so much. They can hold so many memories. I held on to some of the clothes. I hope for another baby someday, but I am also not ready to let go of the baby I have. Maybe not ever, since she will really always be my baby in some ways.