I've always kept two big bins, full of kid's clothes. One for baby clothes, one for big kid clothes.
After Audrey was born, I decided, since I knew there'd be no more babies, to start picking out things from the baby bin and passing them on. It's hard, but I had to do it. I realized I couldn't possibly keep every little sock.
The spirit is willing, but the closet space is weak.
I've kept the outfits they wore home from the hospital, blankets that were knitted/crocheted for them, and a few items that are special to me.
I know that when I am in this baby bin, I'm gonna get a little touched. I'll remember when I bought it, for who, and why I felt I needed to keep it.
Over the weekend, it became apparent that it was time for the bi-annual shifting of the clothes. The weather is changing. I needed to know where we stood in regards to warmer wear. Besides, Ben decided he wanted to wear pants, and was running around the neighborhood looking like Jethro. (If he could of found a piece of rope to tie around his waist, he would of been all set.) We'd been arguing back and forth about his choice, I got sick of it, and marched him to his room. Game on.
We went through his pants. (None of them fit.) I took note of what jackets would work, what shirts still reached his wrists, and started throwing the discards into a pile on the bed for Ryan.
Oh, fine. Let's crack out the bins, and get it over with for everyone. (I have to take the baby one out to get to the big kid one.)
In comes Nolan. I start handing him things, only to have him hand them back, "Too small." Pants that fit him not so long ago no longer making it over his hips. Nothing made the cut on his side of the closet, except for 3 shirts. All his long sleeve shirts, and two jackets, are now on Ben's side of the closet.
Wow. No more milk for Nolan.
I started tackling the big bin in the hallway. I found Ben the next set of jeans, took out some stuff for Ryan, and was surprised by a few things for Audrey I'd received from a friend that I'd forgotten I'd been saving.
She was thrilled.
I stood up and winced that my hallway and big boys' bedroom looked like a garage sale gone bad. Onward, I told myself, and managed to get Ryan in on the act too.
Lots of shirts for him, and jackets, but pants...no. I have some that another friend gave me that are too big (saved them), but all the ones that should've worked for him are gone, sacrificed by Ben on the playground to the gods of big, unrepairable-holes-in-the-knees. Every family has a kid like this, right? One that defies all manner of patches and stitchery?
The little miss managed to outgrow quite a few things too. She was happy to hear that she would be getting some "new dressies" and that she was growing "bigger, bigger, like my boys."
Energized by the fact that I may have to do some replacement shopping (oh, the torture, stop, stop) I started making room in the big bin for the things to save until next time. I had to move some things out of the bottom, and spotted something familiar, and blue.
As I picked it up, I knew what it was. I just didn't know it was going to stop me dead in my tracks.
It was a pair of tiny, maybe 2T sized, Superman pajamas. They were Nolan's. He was fond of running around the house with the cape streaming out behind him. He had Batman, too, but Superman was his favorite.
I glanced down the hall to the back of the child sitting at the computer. How on earth did this ever fit him?
I held them up so Mr W could see them, taking in how small they were, and suddenly catching an image of a freshly bathed toddler shouting "Sup-p-man!!" as he jumped off the bed into my arms.
Folding them up, I moved them into the baby bin.
Because you never know when you might need the power of a tiny superhero at your fingertips.