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.
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.