The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why is clothing making me cry?

So, I am not the type who likes surprises (except at Christmas), and I am definitely not that mom who doesn't want to know the gender of my baby, so I found out as early as possible. By the 2nd ultrasound I was told it is definitely a girl. I was excited for something new and to have one of each, and a little freaked out because... well, I think I do pretty well at the mother-of-boy thing and mothering a girl is a whole different ball game.

Then my mind drifted to the 20 some odd boxes of clothing in my garage. No, I am not exaggerating. I have at least 20 boxes of clothing that are all stuffed to the point of bursting. They start at preemie (Vinny was on time but only 5 pounds) and go all the way up to 18months. Vinny had a TON of clothes when he was an infant and toddler. Hmmm... now what?

I am not the type of mom who is going to want to dress my little girl in all pink dresses. In fact, it is just the opposite. I hate pink. Really, I despise pink. I kind of like pink and black or pink and brown, but overall, the idea of dressing my daughter in frilly pink dresses makes me cringe. However, I also don't think that Vinny's blue striped onesies or corduroy blue overalls are really what I will want to dress her in either. I have visions of purple sundresses and white cherry print outfits.

My mom and I had thought it might be a good idea if I found someone to swap with. I mean, someone has to be in the same situation as me and have tons of boxes of girl clothes that they aren't going to use, right? But how do I find this person? And how do I know if what they want to exchange will be all frilly pink dresses? After some searching, I found this GREAT website (and I promise, this is not a shameless promotion for personal benefit- I am not getting anything from mentioning the site) called Thred Up. It is basically a very modern clothing exchange. You pack one medium flat rate USPS box stuffed full of clothing all in a specific size range and gender and you post it on the website. You list a general idea of what is in it (which means I can pick boxes with purples and reds and whatnot, instead of pink frilly dresses). Another member chooses your box of clothing and then pays for the shipping ($13.00, which includes a small service fee for the site). You get sent a label and you ship it out. Then, you get to pick a box of clothing that you want from the site. You pay the shipping for that box. For each box you give, you get a box. It really is a fantastic idea. If I make sure to get equal amounts of each size, then I really could have a completely wardrobe for this baby for like 2 years for next to nothing.

Since some of Vinny's clothes were relatively neutral (the yellows, greens, white onesies, etc.), I realized some sorting must happen. What will stay and what will go? I don't plan on having more after this. Since this is potentially a very overwhelming process, I decided to do one box a night. I started last night. I went and found a small box labeled 8-12 pounds. As I began pulling things out of the box, at first it was going okay. Blue onesie in the bag, white t-shirt back in the box. Then, I pulled out a preemie hat from the set my dad bought Vinny when he came home from the hospital and we realized nothing I had fit my little 5 pound skinny baby. I looked at the little giraffes and elephants and tears filled my eyes as I placed it in the "keep" pile (it is mostly just white and green after all). How did this happen so fast? It seems like just months ago I was cradling this baby that literally fit in the palm of one hand, and now, he is reading me "Hop on Pop." It all went downhill from there. As I pulled out his little blue and red jumper with teddy bears playing baseball. I LOVED putting that outfit on him. As I looked at this tiny little piece of clothing I remembered it just swimming on his skinny little body and could hardly believe he had been so small. As I went to put it in the "send" bag, I started bawling. I just couldn't take it any more.

One box was certainly all I could handle in a night. I don't even know why I am finding this process so emotional. It is not like I miss him being a baby. In fact, I LOVE him being a preschooler. If I could hold on to this stage forever, I might, but I certainly don't miss sleepless nights with an itty bitty crying baby. Yet, for some reason, I cried...

As much as I have been dreading the sleepless nights and the poopy diapers, perhaps in some ways I am looking forward to holding a tiny little baby again.

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