I sat in silence on the floor of their closet with athletic shorts and many shades of blue and green and plenty of camo hanging two feet from my face. I finished what I came to do. Removing fall and winter clothes and replacing them with their spring and summer counterparts. But what happened here today was so much more than moving clothes around…
Hello closet. I take you for granted, I know. Do you even remember me? We met eight years ago when you were empty and you smelled of fresh builder-beige paint. I was seven months pregnant as I climbed on that step stool hanging window shades and I wrangled nursery pieces and parts into just the perfect spot. I alternated fuzzy sheets and regular sheets between your shelves and the crib not knowing which was best. Should bunny go at this end or that? Maybe you should just hold him until I know for sure?
All the while, I dreamt of meeting my baby boy. I searched iTunes for beautiful lullabies to add to the nursery iPod. I poured through onesies, stroller blankets, loveys and binkies that you would keep for our boy. I laundered everything fresh and new. And then I filled you. I decorated you with beautiful blue hangers that showed sizes from newborn to 24 months.
I knew my boy would grow so fast. Somehow, the time we spent together comforted me and made me feel that you could protect me from the upcoming onslaught of sleepless nights, vomit, messy diaper blowouts, and mostly my own insecurities. You would keep me organized if I just planned hard enough and organized you well enough. Your shelves were empty but your hangers were full and waiting.
You were with us as we lay on the floor on his play mat, doing tummy time, or reading the Lorax and playing with our favorite Taggies blanket. Early on, he loved his crib mobile and it’s version of Mozart is seared into my soul.
Many nights, we rocked in the glider – listening to some of our favorite lullabies. And he and I snuggled each other deeply – fitting together in that chair like puzzle pieces. Night after night, nap after nap.
Hello, closet. Twenty-four months later, I striped your racks and refilled them with 2T. But you weren’t completely bear any longer. On your top shelf, you guarded the most precious of boxes filled with onesies still scented with baby and breast milk. The pristine White worn for baptism. His first Robeez. The most precious of memorabilia. Your lower shelves held stacks of touchy feely books and board books that he outgrew. There were extra blankets and, truth be told, a camping mattress because sometimes he wouldn’t sleep unless I lay next to his crib.
Hello, closet. Me again. Do you remember the day I couldn’t keep my secret? The doctor told me to wait. But I burst with news that there would be another baby – that you would once again be filled to the brim with onesies, canvas boxes filled with diapers, baby products, and that delicious baby scent. I was certain this baby was a girl. We considered names as I hung that single pink “good luck” onesie one that one pink hanger so that it could just peek from the corner of all the boy clothes. I grieved when the next week I knew that baby girl wasn’t destined for us.
Time flew by and before we knew it, I emptied you of the recently added 3T and filled you with baby boy clothes again. We only had a moment to reminisce about the clothes that we hadn’t seen in almost three years before my attention was ripped away by my son yelling “Mommy! Come play!” It was different this time for us – less romance, more business.
But I imagine that you loved being the nursery closet again. Familiar and full again with newborn to twenty-four months. We collected that second box of the most precious of memorabilia and you kept it safe.
This little boy was so different. No nights spent in the chair. No nights laying by his crib. Just his chubby finger gesturing from his crib to the door ordering his parents out at bedtime. No lengthy stories curled up in the chair; he’d rather chew the books than listen. But he filled me with every bit as much joy as the first baby.
Hello, closet. I’m back with more changes. Now our little one is older and he and his brother want to sleep together in the same room. So now, I entrust to you 2T and size 5. You’ll be witness to much love, devotion, ninja battles, dragon wars, occasional real fights and definitely lots of bed jumping.
It’s been two more years and it’s quiet as I sit with you trading cool weather clothes for warm weather clothes. You remind me of our speedy time travel through the last eight years together. As I am completely engulfed in the warmth of our memories, the silence is sliced by giddy voices from downstairs – “Mummy! (We pretend to be British sometimes…) We’re dealing five card draw – wanna’ play?”
Quietly reliving our memories was so much sweeter than what I came here for today. We travelled from onesies to five card draw in a matter of moments. So, good-bye memory keeper; I’m off to play five card draw. But I’ll be back.