One thing I really wanted to get done over the winter break was to clear out some space in my storage locker. We usually have to do this about once a year, as we start to run out of room. It was a kind of desperate situation as there was no room left to put the Christmas tree away, which also needs to get done. I figured the best way to free up some room was to do something that we (mostly Taylor) have been putting off for a long time: going through all of Gwen’s baby stuff and getting rid of most of it. We aren’t going having any more babies so most, if not all, of these things aren’t getting used again, and meanwhile they are taking up A LOT of room.
Really we should have been doing this all along; each season as she outgrew things we should have put aside a few precious items and then given away or sold or donated the rest. That’s what I did with Symphony’s things, but someone IE TAYLOR couldn’t bear to part with any of Gwen’s tiny baby items so they just piled up and piled up and piled up until we had nowhere else to put them.
Here’s the thing: even though Taylor didn’t want to get rid of anything, he also didn’t want to have another baby. And me, I’m the one who is CONSTANTLY getting rid of stuff and I did and still do want to have another baby. But we don’t have the money, we don’t have the room, we don’t have the time, so no more babies.
Even though No More Babies had basically been decided, every time I brought up getting rid of Gwen’s baby clothes Taylor would get all emotional about the thought of her teeny-tiny newborn things and accuse me of trying to manipulate him into having another baby. Finally this weekend I was like NO, you are the one who is trying to manipulate me. Holding onto all these little sleep sacks and tiny onesies and minuscule socks was keeping a small secret hope alive in my heart that yes I would get to have another baby, that there was still a chance. But there isn’t, so it’s time.
Taylor went out to the storage room and brought in all the boxes and bins of Gwen’s old clothes and we started going through them, and that’s when I discovered the truth: for all my rational talk of “we don’t need these things” and “it’s time to get rid of them,” well, I don’t want to. I think yesterday we only made it halfway through the first bin of all the smallest clothes before I quit to go cry in bed.
It was the footed pants that set me off; baby Gwen had multiple pairs of these little pants with built-in feet that she used to wear all the time. I had completely forgotten about them, but seeing them again and trying to decide if I should keep one pair in the “precious memories” pile was too much. They weren’t even anything special, just little pants from H&M in white, a couple of shades of brown and a brown & white stripe. Neutrals that went with everything. They came as part of a set, there would be a sleeper, a onesie, a hat and a pair of these little footed pants. They were really no big deal but suddenly for me, those little pants were the biggest deal of all.
When I was younger (like… 30) I never thought about a time in the future when I would have to decide to not have any more babies. I never thought it would be this hard, or this sad. After Sym was born I didn’t even consider having more kids (for a lot of reasons that I don’t care to get into) and I never felt sad about it then, so I couldn’t have predicted I would feel so sad about it now. And like… it’s one thing to intellectually and logically make the decision because you know it’s for the best, but it’s quite another when the emotional side of the equation confronts you in the form of tiny trousers.
In the end I sorted through almost everything. I saved the things that were the most precious, things worn by both my girls, things made by my mom, things that brought up memories of special occasions. Her baby bear suit, the tiny hockey jersey I used to tell Taylor I was pregnant, all the shoes I made for her went in the “keep” pile. The plain white onesies and old every day sleepers went back in the bins so I can decide how to best get rid of them, although tbh I don’t know that I even can.
Gwen is growing up; she’s three now, she helps with the laundry and makes our coffees for us. She’s finally talking, she’s quitting binkies, and I swear one day she’ll master the potty. She’s not a baby anymore, but I’m just not ready to say goodbye to the baby years of my life yet. So one thing is for certain: the footed pants aren’t going anywhere.