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Passing it on…

The words tumbled out of my mouth before I realized. I couldn’t scoop them up and stuff them back in, pretending they never rang through the air. The words were out and they made her so happy…

She is a fellow preschool mommy. Her daughter is in Sammy’s class. She and and her husband contribute countless volunteer hours at the preschool. They own a small catering business and sandwich shop and they have been known to donate enough food to feed the preschool army and the moms, dads, grandparents, and friends too. They are generous people.

For years they have been on an adoption waiting list…until last Tuesday when they met their newborn baby boy. The news came out of the blue and they were not 100% prepared. This morning she brought her daughter to school and her new son into the classroom–everyone was excited, surprised, and very happy for this family. The baby is tiny! The big sister was glowing. Mom looked tired, but happy.

And here is where the words came tumbling out of my mouth: do you need any newborn boy clothes? I have a ton! And I do. With four boys, I have baby boy clothes coming up to my eyeballs, stored away in the laundry room. I keep hanging on to them, thinking that maybe, someday, I might need them again–part of me is happy those days may be behind us, part of me can get wistful and wish for another.

She immediately said “yes” to the offer of clothes, no hesitation at all. She looked relieved.

This morning, when I got home from the schools and the store, I got out a bin of newborn clothes. I held up my favorites in front of me and I could see my newborn sons again. I could see Ryley in the yellow and blue striped one-piece outfit. Sammy in the elephant covered onesie. Tommy in the blue pajamas with little red and green cars. Joel in a bright striped one-piece outfit with a smiling caterpillar. The clothes were so tiny! So perfect!

I can sit here and picture dressing my newborn sons. I see their umbilical stumps still attached, their skinny, stiff, startling movements. The socks that would never stay on their little red newborn feet. Those memories are still vivid and powerful enough to make a lump form in my throat. I don’t know if I will ever be so blessed again.

It is comforting to experience these strong memories of my sons right now. I do not need a pair of pajamas to remind me how big Ryley’s feet were, or of Tommy’s skin tags. The newborn boy clothes are bagged up and by the front door so that I can remember to take them to my friend and her new baby. She will take her own mental snapshots of her son in these clothes. Maybe he will wear Joel’s caterpillar outfit on the day he smiles for the first time? Or the ducky pajamas when he rolls over.

This newborn boy needs clothes more than I need to hang on to scraps of fabric and snaps. I know that. A few years ago, when I gave away all my baby girl clothes to a cousin’s daughter, my mom said “God will honor your sacrifice.” She knew it wasn’t easy for me–it was like giving up on ever having another daughter. Four sons later, I can laugh about how silly it was to wrap up my dreams in baby pajamas.

So today I willingly say goodbye to many things I have been holding hostage–in my laundry room and in my heart.

1 comment to Passing it on…

  • Momofmopsy

    I’m proud of my daughter for having such a caring heart for her friend and for cherishing each memory of sweet baby times.

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