There’s this onesie my daughter used to wear. Now the garment looks so small, it could be mistaken for doll clothes. The problem is, I can’t bring myself to toss it away. So the onesie sits in the back of my daughter’s closet, under several layers of other outfits and dresses. Each time I get ready to divide the clothes up for garage sale or to pass to a friend, I add a few more clothes to what innocently started out as my For Keeps pile. The very same pile that has taken the shape of a small hill and sprawls outward, also has a stuffed animal my son had dragged everywhere and a pair of the cutest Patent Leather shoes with a silk bow on the side of the strap.
There are also the toys my children no longer play with. I’ve been keeping these around just in case they decide to notice the doll or play laptop. The reality is, they’ve moved on. They treat their toys like a hot, gooey dessert they enjoy for five minutes and forget about an hour later.
I’m equally guilty when it comes to what’s lurking in my closet. I have all of my clothes from my pre-pregnancy years—the tight-fitting tops, the suit jackets, the sexy shoes. They are still there, holding out hope that one day I will bring them out of the dark. But each time I buy something new, the pants from my career days are pushed back further, and one of these days, I know the entire bar is going to break under the weight. I might soon break under the weight of putting off this task one more day.
I just like knowing everything is still there: the clothes, the toys, the art projects from the kids. They make up a living timeline in our household. I’ve convinced myself that if I keep these objects in their place, then I have some control over time. I alone can pull back the big hand and second hand on the clock, just a little. I’m constantly in a battle between fighting and accepting the rapid growth and the change of the seasons happening under our roof.