Putting Away Baby

This past weekend I had one mission on my mind — clean out my daughter’s overflowing, overstuffed closets and dresser.

You see, my munchkin is very tall and big for her 18 months.  Her growth rate has ensured that we have gone through tons of clothes in the past 12 months.  I also continue to reap the benefits of having several friends and family members with girls who also have grown out of their clothes, which equals lots of wonderful hand-me-downs. This accumulation of clothes had actually gotten to the point that the floor and extra bed in her room were now “storage units” requiring daily expedition-like digging for something that would fit my exploding child.

My mission was single-minded when I approached this project — get the room clean and make it a usable space for munchkin and her growing menagerie of stuffed animals and toys.  Or so I thought …

After the first 60 minutes of simply going through everything and pulling all the too-small clothes and shoes out of drawers, off of hangers and out of closets, I was buried in a pile of pink, ruffles, and, what I soon came to realize, everything that symbolized the first 18 months of munchkin’s life and my transition into motherhood.

I was left with this sudden rush of emotion, and almost a feeling of loss. Suddenly I knew — she is not really a baby anymore. She is a full-fledged, energy-filled, rambunctious, talking, running firecracker of a toddler.  But, no, how could that be!  Just six months ago she was crawling at my feet, six months before that I was cheering her on as she began to sit up and buying her first bathing suit (a major clothing milestone for us Floridians) …

….. and just six months earlier than all of that, I was holding my little miracle in my arms after 12 hours of labor and 10 months of a joyful pregnancy.  It has all gone by so fast!

So, as I went through every piece of clothing and remembered when and where she had worn it, marveled at every shoe and how small they were, and packed away the bibs and burp clothes that were so important just one year ago, I shed a little tear.  It was a tear of amazement about how far both she and I have come in a year and a half, and a tear of trepidation as I look forward to the years to come and how this transition from one stage of life to the next is never going to be easy for mama.

But for now, I am simply an emotional mommy marveling at my munchkin.  She is now officially a toddler, with a bib-free, onesie-free colorful closet to match the spirit of the exploding, vibrant little miracle of life that she is.

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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One Response to “Putting Away Baby”

  1. Kathy Irvine — January 16, 2011 @ 7:59 am (#

    I was in one of my favorite quilt stores this past week and on the long arm quilting machine was a memory quilt that was made from pieces of a little boys closet. There were pieces of baby blankets, t-shirts, dress shirts, denim jeans, etc. OMG it was so cute. That may be something to consider as you go through those articles of your child’s growing up.


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