One of my most very favorite smells, above lemon and dirt of course, is my little Sadie bug...especially the memory of her tiny newborn head as she was given to me for the first time. That distinct sweetness that entered my senses that day was one I hoped I would never forget. I remember resting with her in our hospital room the morning after her birth just breathing her in...trying to produce a memory of that moment so that I could bring it back on her 16th birthday or when I was going to have to one day send her off to college.
It's really, really hard to watch your babies grow up. We wait with baited breath for those first steps or that first word but wish only to be able to go back and see it all again...so this time, could it please be in slow motion.
The mixed pride and sadness I felt when I heard my 21 month old exclaim her own formed sentence of "I want to draw a picture mommy" just about knocked me over. I was losing my little baby and I was so afraid of forgetting all of that time when I would rock her in my arms. I desperately tried not to cry as I got her some crayons and paper and watched her scribble something only her mommy could see as art.
I knew I needed something to hold onto. Something that would remind me of how she felt her first few years and something to show her how much I loved her as a baby. I knew it had to be more then a picture or a journal entry. It needed to have the smells and the feel of what she was when she was so tiny.
I'm sure you have all done it...smelled each memory soaked outfit as you pulled it out of a dresser or box, trying to decide if you should let it go. A while ago I did this same thing as I was going through her baby clothes. Each one had a story and I had a really hard time putting anything into that cardboard box headed for Good Will. I, instead, made three piles.
1. Perfect Condition that held a distinct memory
2. Most Loved, filled with memories but well worn and a tiny bit stained
3. Stuff that never really got used.
I packed the first pile up into the usual Tupperware and put it high up in the garage for a possible girl #2, sent the 3rd pile to a sister-in-law who had just had a baby girl and then I cut the 2nd stack, the ones I just couldn't let go of, into small squares for a quilt... my something to hold on to, cuddle and smell as often as I wanted. After I had enough squares to make a pretty good sized quilt I went to work. I cried a lot as I made this. In fact I'm sure there are mommy tears in some of these pieces. It was harder then I thought but I just kept picturing Sadie and I curled up at night in her bed, when she's old enough to really get it, and getting to tell her about each small square.
One of these was the cute little top I had picked out for her on her first birthday and the bib I made her so that her cake wouldn't get all over it. I'll get to tell her about all of the people who loved her enough to come and how she preferred her watermelon over her birthday cake. Sadie, to me, was that color and those ruffles. I couldn't let go.
These pieces of her past make up this tangible, useful treasure that I want her to love to bits. Each square has a fun story. There are so many people who love her that are involved in this project. Each tiny dress and cute top was given to her by those who will make her who she is. I can't wait to tell her everything I know about each one of them.
Letting go of precious time will always be hard. Remembering it though, will be a joy!