Monday, September 10, 2007

From the couch

It occurred to me today that there may have been a reason other than my general tendency to procrastinate for why I kept putting off sorting Monkey's clothes. I mean it's plain as day that the child has grown quite a bit lately. And her closet is overfull (thanks, Mom! You know, in the shout out to the Universe sense-- my Mom does not read here, to the best of my knowledge.). And yet, despite "sort through Monkey's closet" being item number one on my to-do list since last week, it wasn't until today that I actually braved it. It was a daunting task, to be sure (see above re:overfull), and I knew she is attached to some of the items that would have to go, but with this level of dedicated avoidance I find that it's usually not a bad idea to look for another reason.

With the setup like this I don't suppose anyone would be surprised if I revealed that the last time Monkey's clothes got sorted was within a month before A died. Within the last couple of weeks, really. That she has grown since then is obvious to anyone who sees her on semi-regular basis. She is visibly taller, visibly more a school kid than a pre-schooler. But apparently my inner logic here was that if I don't go through her closet, if I do not confront the magnitude of what needs to be packed away, I don't have to face yet another measure of time passed. Who knew time could be measured in piles of clothes on the floor? One child's piles. Only one child's.

Last Thanksgiving, I think it was, JD was saying something about how there isn't as much stuff for boys, and consequently my Mom's retail therapy sessions aren't likely to result in A having more clothes than he can possibly wear (as has been the case with Monkey on occasion). "Watch me," my mother said. We groaned, and we laughed. But don't we all now wish we could.

In the end, though, it was OK. It was even kind of fun. I went through the closet while Monkey was in school and put everything that was in my estimation questionable into a laundry basket. Then, after JD got home, Monkey tried it all on. JD had to be there, of course, because I needed an ally for contentious votes. For things we weren't sure about, we asked her to dance or to do a cartwheel, both of which, accompanied as they were by running commentary or funny faces, made us laugh. In between laughing, JD shook his head at how much she's grown, and I kept trying to get her to take that off, so we can try this other thing on now. I think we did pretty well for a school night.


Aurelia said...

I measure time passing by looking at how many piles of clothes I send away and pack up.

And really I don't send them anywhere, that would be too hard, I just pack them up and stick them in the basement as you know.

I assume that you have many many plastic boxes filled with clothes for every stage as well?

Julia said...

Aurelia, actually a bunch of Monkey's earlier stuff went to the Old City, to a friend's 15-months-younger daughter or to people who were displaced after Katrina. I don't have it in me to sort this pile for what is of sentimental value and should stay and what can go right now. I am putting it all into a big bin, and if I hear of anyone going to the Old City, I will sort through it again for sentimentality and send the rest off. Not doing it in one swoop is easier somehow. Possibly because I always hear of someone traveling at the last minute, and I have to get the packing done super-fast, so no time to think.

S. said...

Packing away Z.'s outgrown clothes (Aurelia, hers go in the basement, too!) is such an act of hope that I have to keep it completely intellectual. It's about economics, right? Not emotions.

slouching mom said...

You've made me see better, more clearly, more deeply today. I would never have imagined that the changing out of clothing could be imbued with layers and layers of meaning.

Lovely post.

thrice said...

Yes, there is always a sadness to taking out the overgrown clothes. I won't be having anymore children, so it chills the finality of each stay.