Yesterday I ventured up into the attic and retrieved a musty-smelling box labeled BABY. I unpacked it directly into the washing machine with Charlie's Soap and white vinegar. This morning, I pulled everything out of the dryer and looked it over.
I was surprised by how not sentimental I felt about the doll-sized T-shirts and sleepers and one pieces. I had thought I would get pulled under by a wave of, Aww, wook at da wittle outfits! Instead, looking through the clothes was just surreal. Handling an impossibly small pair of blue and white footy pajamas, it struck me that while there is no way Westley was ever this tiny, I somehow remember dressing him in it!
I was also a bit surprised by just how few things there were: maybe four apple boxes of Westley's things altogether, from newborn to now, one for each year. When we moved, I was pretty ruthless about donating unused clothes and housewares, but I didn't know I'd been quite so selective about the baby clothes. Then again, Westley didn't have many clothes that were truly special and worth saving. He wore a lot of white one pieces and plain knit pants in his first year, and neither of those things is leaving the planet any time soon, should we decide that our next baby absolutely must have a similar wardrobe.
One thing did make me feel especially sentimental, though. I might even have said, "Aww!" Packed up with the size Newborn diaper covers and leftover home birth kit supplies was a big stack of flannel swaddling blankets. Westley's clothing almost didn't matter for his first few months, as he was always, always, ALWAYS swaddled. I'm pretty sure Rob's parents didn't see the baby's arms and legs until he was six weeks old.
When I packed up Westley's baby clothes, it was with the thought that some day another baby might come along and wear these same hand-knit hats and teensy, ridiculous socks. As I launder and sort these soon-to-be hand-me-downs, it repeatedly strikes me that there really is going to be another baby. And she already has a tiny wardrobe with swaddling blankets and footy pajamas and those crazy little sleep gowns with the elastic at the bottom.