Here I am: winding down on spring cleaning, and I find myself a mess on the floor of your nursery. Surrounded by tons of outgrown newborn clothing and out of nowhere, the heaviness hits me. The joy and heartbreak. The realization that time is passing us by and you are growing right before my eyes. The little 7-pound 19-ounce baby that I held for the first time ten months ago is now over 20 pounds. And you can no longer fit into the outfits that remind me of your first fresh weeks here on Earth.
Now you’re walking—running even. Now you don’t like when I cradle you in my arms and rock you back and forth. You fight me on this, but I remember when you were just a few weeks old and it brought you the most joy. And I also remember the blanket that you used to love to be swaddled in, the baby wrap that nestled you against my chest, the hospital cap that you came home in. These things surround me on your nursery floor, reminding me of how swiftly time comes and goes. Because though I love watching you grow, my baby, I wasn’t prepared for how quickly it would happen.
I realize how bittersweet each moment of motherhood is. Always fleeting.
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So my heart hurts. Because now, I realize how bittersweet each moment of motherhood is. Always fleeting. Always racing for the next milestone, not realizing that each new thing carries us further away from those emotional firsts. The first time you opened your eyes and stared up at me in the hospital. The first time your tiny fingers held mine. The first outfit we dressed you in to bring you home for the first time. I hold that very outfit in my hands right now, saddened by how you only wore it a few times and amazed by how fast you’ve outgrown it.
And the tears start flowing. Because these newborn clothing items remind me of the days when everything felt so brand new. When everything was unfamiliar. And though it seems absurd to say it, I don’t want to let these items go because I know that when I do, I am letting go of the time we shared in your newborn days. I am letting go of my tiny little baby as he grows into an infant, and then a toddler.
But deep down I know that this is what makes motherhood. The constant changes. The forever outgrowing of clothes and routines and traditions.
I created a sentimental attachment to every item that reminds me of these days, not knowing that one day, I would be storing them away in boxes. The outfits I received at my baby shower. The outfits that I spent time organizing during my nesting stage. The outfits that I handpicked for your hospital bag. They no longer have a home in your dresser, but now reside in boxes marked “baby clothes.”
And part of me wishes that you could wear them one more time, but deep down I know that this is what makes motherhood. The constant changes. The forever outgrowing of clothes and routines and traditions. The blink of an eye that exists between a newborn and then, suddenly, a teenager. Forever wondering where time has gone and if you can get it back.
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One day I’ll be packing away all your baby clothes as you transition to a toddler. And then from a toddler to a child. A child to a preteen. A preeteen to a teenager. A teenager to an adult. Until I am no longer packing your clothes away. Until I am packing up your room as you prepare to live under your own roof. And all the time that I wished away—the sleepless nights, the tantrums, the arguments about not cleaning your room—I will be running to collect those moments back. Because it all goes by so fast. Too fast.
But for now, I am just packing away all the newborn clothing items that you’ve outgrown. Maybe for a sibling in the future or maybe just for a rainy day when I want to revisit all of these fond memories.
And though you’ve outgrown these items and will continue to outgrow many other things as you get older, I know for sure that the one thing you will never outgrow is your mother’s love.