Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thirteen years, several cities, and a few homes ago, I filled a box with Lydia's most-loved, most-worn baby clothes. Each time we move, I open the box and poke around a little, feeling that familiar bittersweet tug of remembrence. Today I moved that little box yet again, and this time I couldn't resist unpacking each little outfit piece by piece. Then, since I couldn't stand knowing they smelled a little musty, I ran them through the washing machine, making sure I added plenty of fabric softener so they'd smell good when they came out of the dryer. I'm going to relish smelling each little onesie and then folding it up I like I did over and over in the months before Lydia was born. You see I held the clothes when Lydia, the baby, was just an idea, an unseen reality....when I couldn't fully imagine her or hold her. Now I hold the clothes again, when Lydia's babyhood is just that again. I can't fully remember how she felt, or how she smelled, or exactly how her cry sounded at 2 am. If I had known that when I held her at 6 months old I would have been devestated. I tried so hard to burn her into my memory. What matters at the end of it all is that I did what I was supposed to do, what I was meant to do...for Lydia, and that I share the experience with so many other women with their own stories of motherhood.

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