Something Old, Something New

Jamie paintingToday I spent eight hours on my feet volunteering at a consignment sale.  The significance of the date didn’t hit me until 7:30 p.m., when I went to write a check for the two tubs of summer clothes and sandals I had bought for my kids.  March 5, 2014.  The ninth anniversary of the day when Richard and I said our marriage vows.  I wrote about it last year in “The Artist At Our Wedding.”

Part of me is glad that I was too busy today to dwell on the date, to mark every hour by remembering what I was doing at that exact time on that day in 2005.  I spent this day in the YMCA gym sorting clothes, checking for stains, running back and forth, tossing shoes into the right box, making conversation, making new friends.  

 Last night, I tagged my own items to sell.  It makes me sad, every time, to pin and price the clothes that my darlings wore.  The yellow dress Vivi kept clean through the Easter egg hunt last year, when her hair was still long and trailed behind her as she ran around Nana and Papa’s garden.  The orange and yellow Hawaiian shirt that Carlos wore at Cocoa Beach on the day we went to see the Mars Curiosity Rover launched into space.  A pink sequined top and ruffled skirt that Vivi picked out for her first day of kindergarten.  Tiny shoes that never touched the ground.  Pajamas that had swaddled my nephews, passed down to us for our season, then passed along again.  That blue sun hat that Carlos hated, the one with the Velcro strap that was too strong for him to undo.  carlos hawaiian

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

I had that talk with several other mothers today–how sad it makes us feel to say goodbye to the clothes from our kids’ yesterdays. But it just isn’t possible to hang on to every precious thing.  I try to remind myself that they outgrow their clothes because they are healthy and strong.  Changing is a part of being OK.

A wedding anniversary.  One life ended.  Another life begun.  I wouldn’t have these children if that March 5th wedding had ended in a happily ever after.  Would I notice the bluebirds as much?   I often wonder what it would have been like to have children with Richard.  But I don’t have much time to chase that wonder because I am so busy living THIS life.  That something old.  This something new.  This always borrowed.  This beautiful, sometimes blue.

14 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New

  1. Terri

    Such a great perspective. I remind myself of that whenever I second-guess a decision made years (decades) ago. I kind of miss those consignment sale days.

      1. Terri

        And the older they get, the fewer you’ll find in their sizes. I’ve gotten to where I just donate them in tubs to the preschool for the consignment sale. I don’t have to tag them and I only rarely find something in their sizes at the sale anyway. Then the preschool gets to keep all the $ made from them. 🙂

  2. Nicole Ireland

    Oh my! It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone when it comes to the sadness I feel over giving away my children’s clothing. I am the same way with their toys. It makes me so sad. There are times my boyfriend has to tell me step away for a bit and regroup because of how emotional I get.

  3. mollytopia

    Oh I agree! If I think about what I’m donating when I donate it I would be paralyzed and have a basement full of clothes from every quarter. The really special stuff gets saved, but the rest gets dumped into boxes in the garage and then I run back in the house before I notice what happened…Even if not having the other life sometimes gets your attention, I’m really glad you have this one. With these kids.

  4. Chris Antenen

    Lovely sentiments, Ashley, touches everyone whose children and grandchildren grow up and out of clothes. I’m writing something similar for my blog after spending days going through grandchildren’s clothes stored in my daughter’s attic. I asked MK why they saved everything, and she said, ” I always wanted more kids.” Believe me, they saved everything but the Pampers.
    I’m always so touched when you write about ‘what might have been’ amd ‘what is’ — mixing gratitude with the joy and sorrow. You teach me.

  5. kwpierson

    I have the same issues with letting go. It hurts a little bit but then I pray that the next family has the same joy we had.

    Thanks for sharing with us.


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