Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Letting Go

I'm having a garage sale in a few weeks, so I've been busy cleaning out my closet and boxing up the clothes that no longer fit me. After having two babies in less than two years, I have lots of clothes like that. I'm not really a sentimental person, and I don't hang onto lots of mementos, but there's one bag of clothing that I'll be sad to see go.

It's my bag of maternity clothes: the pants, skirts, dresses, and tops that saw me through 20 total months of pregnancy as I carried my sweet sons inside me. Even as I write this, my eyes are filling with tears.

After my first son was born, I struggled with the reality of his birth that was so different than the one I had envisioned. It took me months to let go of those feelings of sadness and inadequacy, and while I mourned, I left my maternity clothes hanging in my closet, as a reminder that I would one day need them again. Eventually, I put them away, only to dig them out, joyfully, a few short months later.

This second time, things were different, and as I realistically planned the best birth for my son, I also looked forward to the time I could wear fitted tops and pants with zippers again. And then my son was born in a beautifully healing way, completing our little family of four, and those clothes that I wore so proudly for two years are no longer needed, at least by me.

But I won't be selling them at the garage sale, since I can't bear to watch others browse through my memories, and I don't know how to put a price on those precious pieces. Instead, I'm donating them, so that some mother, somewhere, will wear them with pride as she carries her child within her. That makes me really happy to think about.

So tomorrow, by 8 AM, I'll have my clothes outside on the sidewalk, clean and neatly folded, awaiting the next leg of their journey in someone else's story.

I also have a hair appointment scheduled this Saturday, and I'm cutting my hair short. I grew it long during my last pregnancy, and it was full and shiny. Now, I'm in the middle of that awful postpartum shedding process, and I find my hairs everywhere. It's time to start fresh again as the mother of two active little boys.