One of the things I wanted to do this summer was pull my storage from my husband’s shop and reorganize it where I could actually get to it. When we moved into our new house I saw the huge shop/studio in the back and thought, “Finally, a place for my storage!” The reality was that it was a ghetto wasteland where baby clothes went to die.
So the boys kindly carted it all back up to the house for me, in the 100 degree weather, where I sorted through it and re-stacked it in the garage. I was tempted to be grumpy about the sheer amount of work it takes to manage this amount of stuff. Plus, stuff annoys me in general. But in the end, I decided that I should just be thankful. I’m going on 12 years of clothing all of my children for free. I buy them nothing. We have always had everything we need. It’s just a matter of finding the right box.
I remember being pregnant with Gideon and people immediately starting to unload their hand-me-downs on me. I would sort through them, save what was worth keeping the equivalent of forever, and pass on the rest. Once a lady with five boys gave me two garbage bags of clothes for an 8 year old. At the time, Gideon weighed all of six pounds. It seemed ludicrous, but I saved them anyways. And sure enough, there came a day when he wore them. Eve is currently wearing the patent leather Gap shoes my mother bought at a yard sale when I was still pregnant with Gideon. Because I saved them. Rahab is wearing the red leather Mary Janes that my little sister wore when she was six. Because I kept them too. It’s like I started off crazy or something. But I don’t recommend it.
If I actually bought clothes for my kids, I would get them six outfits each, let them wear them out, and then throw them away. I would never save anything, ever. It’s obscene. But at the same time, I know I’m going to keep sorting and filing every piece of clothing that everyone ever gives me. I’m going to keep trying to remember what’s in which box and endure all the tops without matching bottoms and the hundred pairs of tights. It’s kinda my lot in life.
And I didn’t even mention the five tubs of shoes and the four tubs of snow gear. Boy shoes, girl shoes, snow boots, rubber boots, soccer cleats, boy coats, girl coats, snow suits, hats and gloves. But I remind myself that all of my children are warm, they’re all dressed. And they’re dressed well. Their clothes may not be new, but they’re clean and in good taste. And that’s what I’m going to be happy with. I’m less happy when I find a size nine skirt that needs to be sorted into the size nine box, which happens to be at the bottom of the stack, behind the four bins of snow gear and the bin of princess dress-up. Like my husband said when he came home from work, “Did you stack this yourself?”