Today, I've been packing up parts of the house, so I decided to go through the Rubbermaid tote that I put all of Nibs clothes in when she outgrows them. It's a bright pink tote, perfect for a little girls cast aside things, and it is stuffed full. The top layer is the infant inserts to her car seats - those hold nothing for me, but I'm keeping them incase I need to pass along her seats in the future, so I tossed those aside to see what else was in it.
My real reasoning for going through this tote was to set aside the things that I can put in the upcoming consignment sale so that I can put that money towards winter clothes for her. I've done this for the past two years in order to keep the cost of clothing her down, but I do set aside some things that I'd like to keep, whether for a possible future baby or just for sentimental reasons. The pink tote is reserved for those sentimental and keep items, but I thought that perhaps there were a few things that should be sold, that I no longer had an attachment to. (There were, but that's not really interesting, is it?)
There are the usual sentimental outfits - the onesie she wore for her first birthday (the tutu I made is framed in a shadowbox and hanging on her wall), her first christmas onesie, the outfit she wore home from the hospital - but there are other, different outfirst that I had no idea would make me feel so nostalgic. There's a little white dress with bloomers, and orange and yellow flowers on it. It is an outfit I never would have picked out, the colors too bright, bought by my mother in law. I remember holding Nibs, dressed in this tiny perfect dress and marveling at how beautiful, even as a tiny, tiny baby she was. How much she looked like her dad, but so undeniably girly.
At the bottom of the tote, there was a yellow pacifier with a bee imprinted on it. Nibs never took much to pacies, prefering her BoBos to anything made of plastic. But this one, she liked sometimes, would suck it deep into her mouth and smile around it. I have a picture of her, lying on our couch fast asleep, wrapped in a blanket with this paci in her mouth. It is, quite possibly, my favorite picture from those days. I remember watching her sleeping, loving her more than I have ever loved any one thing in the whole world. I thought then, I better take a picture, in case I don't remember this. I did, but it turns out I didn't need to. I'll never forget.
Even when I look at outfits she wore not that long ago - the outfits that start to become little girl outfits, not baby outfits anymore - I wonder, next year, will I be able to get her to wear footie jamjams? Will she still want to fall asleep on my lap? Next month, next year, I will be sad when these things that frustrate me so much in the moment are gone. Ten years from now, when I have to sneak into a little girl bedroom to watch her sleep, when there are no more early morning, milk-breath smiles and cuddles, I will wish wistfully for one more lap-nap, for one more tug at my tank top to nurse.
So, tonight when she crawls up into my lap to sleep, I will not get frustrated with her when she doesn't fall right to sleep. I will try not to get mad when she wants to pat my chest, when she needs to breathe my smell to sleep or when she wakes in the middle of the night seeking me out if only to flop her legs across my back. I will smile and hold her tighter.
I'm trying, baby girl. I really am.