Monday, June 2, 2008

All we need is love!

Almost two years ago (22 months ago today to be exact), a tiny little baby girl was born in Grapevine, TX. She weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces when she came into this world, about 12 days early. The doctor placed her in my arms just seconds after delivery, and I looked down at this naked, beautiful baby girl. I had carried her in my belly for the prior nine months, dutifully providing for her every need while she was wrapped in my warm embrace of my body. My heart swelled with love as I cradled her in my arms and looked down at her tiny little face. Our family had grown by one and at that moment, it seemed that all we needed was each other.

Apparently I was wrong…

Two pack-n-plays, a changing pad, a bassinet, two bouncy seats, a swing, a boppy pillow, several activity/play mats, two mobiles, a CD player that attaches to the crib, an exer-saucer, stacks of burp cloths, bags of blankets, boxes full of bottles and pacifiers, 5 bins teeny tiny clothes combined with itty bitty socks and booties, and toys, toys, toys. All of these things were definitely needed during those first few months (ok, pretty much the first year) of Sophia’s life. It is also the pile of stuff that had accumulated in her closet and bedroom over the past 10 months.

Last night I pulled EVERTHING out of her closet and piled it on the bed in the guest room to sort through after she went to bed. I also cleaned out three dresser drawers full of clothes and socks that she had outgrown (with no room left on the bed, they were thrown on the floor in the hallway). Dresses still hung in her closet that she had last worn when she was three months old. I did not have the heart to put them away last year; I needed more time and distance to let go of my baby girl’s clothes. I STILL have two more drawers to attack, which are filled with outgrown shoes and a multitude of infant hats. We have hats to match almost every outfit from 0 to 6 months old. I also filled a small storage bin with keepsakes of her first year that had been stuffed in one of her dresser drawers. A newspaper clipping announcing her birth, a folder containing all the paperwork from the hospital, a tiny white bible that she received from her church dedication, and several cards from her first birthday. All of these things are now stored away in pink plastic, a reminder of her first year of life.

Trey was keeping Sophia occupied while I cleaned out her room. After I had completely emptied the closet of toys, old clothes, shoes, and general piles of stuff - she came running in to play. As she opened the door to her closet and noticed her toys were missing, I heard her gasp. She turned around slowly, with a solemn look on her face. “No, No, No, Mommy” she said as she shook her head back and forth and wagged her little pointer finger in the air. I don't know if she was scolding me for cleaning, waiting so long to clean, or because she found two empty hangers on the floor (I assure you they were plastic hangers). I felt so sad that she thought I took her toys away, but her disappointment faded fast as she found her Easter basket that had been stored in the guest room. She squealed with the same excitement as Easter morning when she saw those plastic eggs in that pink bunny basket.

With Trey’s help, we managed to store away most of Sophia’s outgrown baby stuff in the guest room closet. Last year this would have made me sad, putting away her baby things when those memories were still so fresh and near to my heart. Now I am just too busy chasing Sophia around the house that I don’t have time to be sad. I live in the excited world of a busy, fast growing toddler and seeing the world through her eyes has been a blessing.

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