Tuesday, December 08, 2009

tripping down memory lane



i'm clearing a whole lot of boxes out of the attic. i had saved loads of sabin's baby clothes up there, for some unknown reason. perhaps for a sibling that never materialized. perhaps because they seemed so precious i couldn't bear to part with them. perhaps saving them for a rainy day. maybe because in my last life, i was in the siege of leningrad. maybe i'm part squirrel? or maybe just because i'm an incurable packrat.  but in any case, i've gotten them down and i'm going through them. i've decided it's time to wash them all up and save the ones i want to use to make her a quilt of her baby and toddler life and to donate the rest.

and i'm finding it strangely difficult. all those sweet little bitty clothes that i remember her wearing. it brings tears to my eyes to see them again and think of all the times i dressed her in them and washed them and folded them. remembering occasions when she wore them. me, feeling sentimental, imagine that? i hate sentimental, but i can't help it. just looking at these little shoes makes me tear up like a big baby. and i'm honestly not sure i can part with them. what is it about them? some lucky little girl out there could probably really use them, the toes are scuffed a little bit, but it's nearly in a charming way and there's really a lot of use left in them. they should be of use to someone, not tucked away in a box in our attic. i wish i could think of a way to incorporate them into a quilt that's a topography of her life thus far, but one doesn't spring readily to mind. why oh why is it so hard to face giving them away?



it's a bit strange, because i love the big girl sabin is becoming and in many ways don't miss her babyhood. i love how much she does for herself and how much fun she is now - she was also fun then, but in a different, more needy way. but tiny little clothes and shoes are just so sweet. now her big old long toes poke holes out the ends of her tights, back then, they were just so sweet and little. maybe that's it, i just have a thing for miniature things. maybe i'll just keep the red shoes and donate the rest (including the most precious pair ever of silver and pink nike shox). i've even got the original box for those. hmm, why is it so hard to let go of things?


16 comments:

Char said...

awwww, for a girl that hates sentiment - this hits the nail on the head. I would not be able to part with the red ones either. too too precious. and think, she may want to have them for her little girl.

Molly said...

bronze them?
hahahahahahahahahahhaha ...

I hear you though, and advise hanging on to them for a little longer rather than regretting the loss of them later
x

Bill Stankus said...

I completely understand. It's much too complex of an issue for a glib comment. Part of it, I think, is that a child is pretty much yours for the first 10-12 years. You make reasons to have a child, birth the child and then take on 100% of it's care. All of the child's movements and activities are because of you.

After ages 10-12 complex socialization sort of moves parenting off center point. Parents react more and more instead of being the reason for the child's choices.

Momentos, baby clothes, crib toys, etc. become memory objects and nostalgia tokens of those early familial moments.

Those items get connected with memory and become difficult to toss away.

S. Etole said...

Maybe it's just not quite the right time yet. You have a beautiful site here.

Cyndy said...

I am a sentimental sap, and it nearly killed me when I was getting rid of the kids' things this fall. Everyone that was helping me did not have kids, so I don't think they got it. To them, I looked like a bumbling fool.

I like the idea of being a squirrel. Or am I just nuts?!?

kcgirlgeek said...

I would never be presumptuous enough to tell you what to do, but I can recount a story of my own.

My son is 20 years old now. He has joined the Army. I'm not happy about it. But I'm not angry, I'm more...grieved. I feel tremendous fear, and a sort of resentment toward this country that it would even ALLOW a mother's only natural child to enlist in a "profession" that increases the risk of him losing his life.

I had saved some of his baby clothes, some of the tiniest most precious items...tiny overalls that had a patch on the chest that said, "I Love Grama," and tiny t-shirts and tiny "jeans." But in the course of many years of moving and eventual divorce...I have lost them all. Every last precious treasure is nowhere to be found. And right now...I'm really wanting to just hold his baby overalls to my cheek and cry. But I can't.

I do not feel like a selfless "military mother," gratefully sending her only child off to fight a far-away war for our nation's "freedom." I feel like a mother who loves her child more than what this country could EVER mean to me. And whether anyone thinks that is awful or not...I don't care. I just want to hold those tiny overalls and cry....

Just Jules said...

my aunt is able to scan pics and print them on fabric - not sure how. but she has done many many quilts this way - do some research and figure out how - then take pics of things like shoes and add them in between the squares of the material.

Just an idea.

We too are weeding through Addie's stuff now. Just brought two big totes into the preschool for a donation thing they are doing. However, since I have four kids clogging my house with such stuff I am a bit less sad to get rid of things. But, I too have a few things she was will to part with that I tucked back away :)

rxBambi said...

I say keep the items you consider "precious" and donate the rest. Yes other people could benefit from the red shoes, but think about how she will feel in 20 years when she has her own child and you pull those out to give to her...

Delena said...

Depending on the size of the shoes of course, I used my daughters little red baby shoes as xmas ornaments. Just tied them on the tree. Also, you could make book ends with them. Don't throw them out if you don't have too. I am a sentimental fool also.

marinik said...

it IS hard to let go of some things.. i know, but think of it this way...like you said they can be a part of someone elses life... bring happiness to them too, you'll feel so much better when you donate them, i've kept a few special items too, though i doubt it will mean anything to my boys when they grow up... who knows

jacqueline said...

it is always hard parting with such precious items. i love the pictures you have here. have a wonderful week.

Andi said...

That red pair is adorable, I would certainly try to find a way to use them elsewhere in the house...to hold pens, to hold up books, something, they are so cute!

Protege said...

I like the way you take your pictures, they speak more than words...
xo
Zuzana

Trina S. said...

keep them just a little longer! Too sweeet!
I have a show collection starting for my 9 month old... some she has never even had the chance to wear they grow so fast! Ill take pics and post too cute!

Bee said...

I'm not (much) of a packrat, but I definitely have some precious baby shoes squirreled away. Objects can be the carrier of memories; and sometimes we need them to hang on to what might be otherwise lost. Bill's comment strikes quite a chord! Goodness knows you won't want to be hanging on to any of those teenaged shoes.

It's been interesting to browse through the past week or two of your posts. So much fabric; you've obviously been feeling creative.

trinsch said...

i actually got rid of my boys' clothes pretty much as soon as they grew out of it. maybe because most of their clothes was handed down. i did save a box of the most precious stuff like the clothes i had bought to bring the home from the hospital, a few special and/or handmade things.

and even if i did give few of those things away too, i intend to hang on to most.

my youngest is wearing some pants that used to be mine these days, and i have a t-shirt that used to be my older cousins and has been through all us kids. i love these pieces of clothes that has stayed in the family. maybe the children of my children will one day wear some of the clothes i have saved. that would be grand :)