The switching out of clothes and toys each season reminds me how fast this year and the ones before it have gone in my motherhood.
When spring arrives in Minnesota, we waste no time to enjoy it. When you live in a state where the temp dips into the -20 degree range on the regular, the potential of 40 degrees is absolute music to our ears. And when these “warm” days arrive you could check off a bingo sheet of Minnesotans.
Flip Flops? Check.
People walking around the frozen lakes? Check.
The seasonal change means excitement for getting outside and engaging in new adventures and experiences. But the seasonal change also means it is time for one of my seasonal mom duties: cleaning out the closets, dressers and toy bins.
With my first child, I created makeshift hanger labels that divided the closet by size. I felt rushed to use the clothes that were gifted to us from friends and family. It was hard to keep up. As the months went on and a new season approached I stood in disbelief at the labeled closet with so many baby clothes that were already outgrown.
It was my first taste of seasonal heartache in motherhood.
The home from hospital outfit when we became a family.
The snuggly footie pajamas that pressed against me on sleepless nights.
Hats that covered that indistinguishable baby head smell.
Socks that always slipped off the feet I couldn’t stop admiring.
My child was growing, doing new things but these outgrown clothes were reminders of the moments that would never happen again.
I started pulling the clothes from the closet and drawers. Clothes that would never to be worn by my baby again. Each outfit served as a harsh reminder of the speed in which my baby was growing.
And so I stood there and cried.
I cried because I wasn’t ready for this speed in motherhood.
“It’s so stupid,” I said to my husband. “I’m crying over baby clothes.”
But it wasn’t about the clothes. It was about the child who wore those clothes. The memories we made together that season and year.
The times that could never be replicated the same way again.
It was a sharp realization, my baby would never be a baby again.
The cleaning of the clothes each season is both a gentle reminder and heartache in my motherhood. The motherhood reminders that tap you on the back in a slow sort of way to say slow down. Those conversations you had with so many people with older children were really coming true.
“Don’t blink, it goes by too fast.”
Each season I am still surprised by my children’s growth. They are older now and assist as we go through and make “keep” and “give” piles. Sometimes we unearth a forgotten baby item that was tucked away in the dresser. And I still get seasonal heartache.
Folding the outgrown pants and shirts into the plastic bins is my seasonal reminder that my children are changing so fast, even in just six months time. I think about their growth in the last season and my own growth as a mother. I think about the challenges that we overcame and the joys, both big and small. I think about them as babies and how those moments will never come again.
I know it is okay to grieve that I am done having babies.
I know it is okay to take time to be sad during these seasonal changes.
But most importantly, I know that I can take time to celebrate a new season of my motherhood and new experiences that my kids and I will share together.
Especially outside, because in Minnesota we have limited time to enjoy this “warm” weather.