The Last Onesies
I am not a mom who holds on to things.
Kyle jokes that if it’s not nailed down, I'm liable to throw it in the trash. This goes for school projects, papers, toys, and unintelligible craft projects like this that get left on the floor:
Seriously, what is this? If I have to ask, it's going in the trash.
I'm not a total monster; I do have a shred of sentimentality. For example, I save pieces of
writing. I save anything that says “To Mommy,” on it, because that is adorable. But as a general rule, if no one has looked at it, used it,
or asked for it in six months, I will get rid of it (and then, inevitably, someone asks for it).
So I was surprised when I went into the basement recently for some spring cleaning and opened a big purple tote that I thought was full of blankets. Which it was. But within the folds, I’d tucked away two tiny onesies, one for each daughter.
They were both newborn size, the ones so small it doesn't seem possible that a human could fit in one. The first was printed with red flowers, the other with pink and blue ladybugs. I gasped when I saw them, partly because I felt impressed with myself for saving them, but mostly because I remembered dressing each baby in them as if I’d just done it yesterday.
I glanced cagily around the empty basement like I was about to do something illegal. And even now, I can’t believe that I, ruthless trasher of nostalgia, did this.
But I unfolded each one, and draped it over my shoulder, and held it there. I remembered the warm barely-there weight of little bodies in them. Their fuzzy heads against my cheek. The rhythm of their quick breathing under my hand. Now they’re ten and eight, and it’s very possible I won’t hold a baby like that again. I stood there for a long time.
In reality, they probably wore these for half a day, pooped
heroically in them, and grew out of them by the time I finished the laundry. Because
that is what babies do best.
But even so, I will save them forever.