It’s amazing how after two years in a cardboard box, tiny little socks and hats and nighties still smell like tiny little babies.
And how boxed up nighties can bring back memories of long, late nights. Nights with little sleep. How those nighties were huge on my little tiny babies. And yet they wore them, every.single.night. How their arms would never stay in the sleeves. And how my babies would always wake up with their hats slumped down over their eyes because their heads were so tiny. And their socks would always come off with their kicking, and get lost somewhere within those nighties.
I can remember waking up to the sound of hunger flailing its skinny little arms and legs at me. And being so frustrated because I just wanted to sleep. I would jump out of bed and throw my pillow. And then I would kick my pillow. And maybe punch it.
And then I would walk into a tiny baby’s room and I would melt as soon as my eyes rested on that face. The most beautiful face I had ever seen.
I would cradle a child in the crook of my arm, and nestled together in a warm blanket in the dark, I would feed that child. And I would wonder what she would be like. Or when he would talk. When I would hear little footsteps. When I would hear “I love you, Mommy.” I would feel, for a few moments, that time stood still. And it was breathtaking.
I have trouble getting rid of these things…these little nighties. I press them to my face, and breathe in their scent, and my heart dips and swirls and for a moment, I remember. And so, I will put them back in their cardboard container and they will rest there with little tiny socks and little tiny hats and little tiny blankets that I can’t bear to part with. I will arrange them safely among the velvets and silks and organzas, the coming home outfits and the other, memory-laden treasures that I have kept.
In a few months, when I can hardly remember what it felt like to be the mother of a tiny little baby, I will have these things to remind me…if only for a moment.