The Loss of a Much-Smaller Child

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I participated in a mourning ceremony yesterday. Wait, one died, thank heavens! But it was a mourning ceremony nonetheless. I went through my son's clothes from this past year and brought out all the new 24-month/2T stuff (whatever the heck the difference is). Some of my favorite little outfits went to the thrift store pile. Only a few pieces made their way to the attic for that just-in-case incident that another little fellow would join our family. As I went, the pj's got a little longer, shirts got a little wider and shoes took up more space in the top drawer. While I don't need to hang on to four bottle of Desitin, especially since potty training is in the works, I have a really hard time putting them in the donate pile when I really still want to be able to use them.

Hunched over for two hours organizing and purging that tiny little wardrobe not only did a number on my physical body, it also affected my store of momma emotions. That minuscule sweep of time from chubby thighs to long, stringy legs; that span of time between immobility and unstoppable energy; that wisp of time that carries the needy infant to the self-sufficient toddler passes nearly without notice until you're caught off-guard eliminating that tiny-hood from your mind and home.

A mom must really prepare herself for that constant evolution. She must steel herself against that trap of continuously feeling loss that she could let herself fall into. But she must also revel in those miraculous moments where she notices that something she had a tremendous part in creating is truly thriving and all those doubts about having a healthy child fall away.

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