Packed Away, But No Longer Forgotten

I was never going to finish.


I glanced around my spacious master bedroom, no longer recognizable as every surface vanished beneath the towers of clothing – as though a tiny newborn pink polka dotted onesie had hooked up with some dark blue 3T sized Buzz Lightyear pajamas while hiding in my closet and reproduced an army of every size, design, and season of clothing imaginable.

Or a Baby Gap hiding in my attic had just thrown up.  Repeatedly.

I heaved a heavy sigh at the daunting task before me – breathing in the pleasant yet unmistakable blend of Dreft and “unscented” dryer sheets – and popped the lid on yet another gray tinged plastic bin as I searched for more items I had no excuse to keep anymore.

Boy clothes, tiny ones – kept just in case the technician erred on the ultrasound from two years ago.

I quickly sorted through them as my son’s first year flashed before my eyes. Until I reached the bottom.

There, folded so small I could easily cup it in the palm of my hand, was the outfit.

My son’s Coming Home Outfit.

I gently opened it up, the pale baby blue unmarred from its brief time in use. Tiny dark blue stars flowed over half of the long sleeved footed outfit, spilling onto each sleeve and cottony foot. On the other half, the torso spoke to me, hitting me right in the heart.

“Thank heavens for little boys.”

A brown bear peeked from behind the blue embroidered star as the words sandwiched the phrase, as if hinting of the peekaboo games soon to follow.

I fingered the soft material and marveled on the changes from then until now, the outfit’s size a stark reminder – only tall enough to measure his current torso.

Once so helpless. Now, a daredevil climber intent on giving me a heart attack.

Once tiny enough I could carry him for hours, head against my shoulder or chest, as his fine baby hair tickled my nose while inhaling his baby shampoo scent.  Now so tall and heavy, I could barely manage five minutes – though the baby shampoo smell still visits immediately following bath time.

Once so very angry because his feet and body lacked the power to transport him from Point A to Point B, his demands forcing me to strap on the Bjorn carrier for most of the day. Now reigning him in so he doesn’t tackle his sister with his mastered skills.

Once, two and half days old and on his way to greet the outside world for the first time.  Now an explorer of that world who knows no fear.

I refolded the outfit and carefully returned it to the bin, alone – the other clothes marked to pass on to someone in need.

This one, I would keep. To remember.

Today, my son turns four years old. Soon, before I can blink an eye, he’ll be a teenager. An adult.

Someday, he might need a baby blue star coated pajama outfit for his children.

At this rate, I’ll still be buried under clothes when that happens.

Write a piece – 600 word limit – about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it’s so meaningful to you or your character.

Disclaimer: Insomnia buildup catching up with me, and I kept nodding off. I will have to fix any typos later.

Comments and constructive criticism are always welcomed.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
This entry was posted in Nonfiction, Writing Prompt and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Packed Away, But No Longer Forgotten

  1. Mandyland says:

    I have no criticism for such a beautifully worded post.

    What a wonderful tribute for your son’s birthday. It brought tears to my eyes and, then, at the end, a empathetic grin.

    They grow so fast I just want to freeze time to catch my breath.

  2. Lydia says:

    Love. I could feel it in this post. 🙂 I kept everything with my first and when I found out my youngest would most likely be my last I had to force myself to get rid of stuff at the risk of being overcome by baby clothes. I said I’d only keep one outfit for each…but there’s a gigantic plastic tub that says otherwise.

  3. Nancy C says:

    You’ve captured this beautifully. Just lovely. Holding those teeny tiny clothes brings it all rushing back.

    And how quickly it happens.

  4. Jessica says:

    Oh you did it again. Beautiful, beautiful piece. I am so glad you did this. Love every sentimental word of this but my favorite line was about Baby Gap throwing up… genius.

  5. Leighann says:

    So wonderful. Your descriptions are fabulous. I could see the fabric in front of me. They really do grow too fast.

  6. Carrie says:

    I went through this when I was getting rid of my girls accumulation of clothing. Having 2 girls I reused a lot but I bought a lot of new stuff for number 2 as well. It was so FINAL as I sorted piles and piles of baby things. It was sad too.

    Visiting from RDC

  7. Kids grow up way too fast. I wish we could just suspend time for awhile and enjoy them more while they’re still little.

  8. Shell says:

    Oh, how quickly they grow up! So bittersweet!

  9. Jennifer says:

    The description of his coming home outfit was so poignant that I started to get nervous. was quite relieved that there wasn’t a hidden tragedy.

  10. CDG says:

    “Or a Baby Gap hiding in my attic had just thrown up. Repeatedly.”

    My god, you’ve been in my bedroom! How embarrassing.

    And I still have my son’s coming home outfit, too. Blue striped velour jammies…

  11. You had me laughing about the Baby Gap throwing up repeatedly. I feel that way too!

    Lovely post about your little man.

  12. Victoria KP says:

    So true! So true! I came to the realization yesterday that my “baby” boy will be in middle school two years from now. It seems like last week I was washing his clothes in Dreft.

    Also, I LOVE the line about Baby Gap throwing up!

  13. Jack says:

    It does go too fast. My son is ten today. Yesterday he was two.

  14. Tiffany says:

    Reading this brought back memories of my own sweet little boy who will also turn 4 this year. Where does the time go?
    I can still smell the lavender baby soap from his hair and feel the warmth of his tiny body against my chest. I will forever cherish those memories.
    Awesome post!

  15. Jessica Anne says:

    I loved that you kept them, just in case the tech was wrong. A really sweet post for your little guy.

Comments are closed.