Baby clothes make me especially emotional. I remember the sweet faces capped by the tiny hats I’ve saved. The funny onesies that made everyone laugh at my baby showers – “Don’t call me cute, I wanna be smart!”. Gift clothing is a double bonus of gratitude – the giver and the wearer. The tiny crocheted booties a friend brought my daughter back from
sit on my dresser. I could never part with the gorgeous baptismal outfit chosen
when an older and wiser friend took me on my first outing with my newborn baby,
patiently waiting while I loaded every possible necessity in to my diaper bag
and calming my worries about feeding him in public. Even the flannel receiving
blanket that swaddled my babes in the hospital nursery, the one with the blue
and pink line, the same given to every other child born in that hospital, makes
me sigh. Ireland
These days my children are still cute, but not quite so cuddly, yet I still hoard their special clothes. The t-shirt my daughter made that says, “You Laugh At
I’m Different, I Laugh At You Because You’re All The Same“ captures a moment
that must be saved to pull out when her own daughter is challenging her sanity.
The purple tie worn to the first Homecoming dance recalls my teenage son’s
awkward confidence. The faded T-shirt that proclaims, “ My
Uncle Flies Airplanes at Seymour Johnson AFB,” reminds me of the bond my
youngest has with his uncle and makes me proud. These are the fabrics that
embody the moments that have shaped who they are becoming. These get stashed in
my “Keepsake Clothes” bin (actually three bins now).
I have a friend who makes memory quilts as a side business. She is a master at sorting through a pile of old clothes and creating a sacred and treasured family heirloom. Some day I will enlist her skills to create my own quilt of memories. I don’t know if I’ll be able to cull the herd down to the material for one quilt. It may require several.
one will be from when they were babies and I’ll wrap myself in it when I am
missing them. Another can be comprised of their teenage years and when I’m
doubting my own abilities to overcome obstacles, I’ll draw comfort from those
memories. And one will be comprised of clothes that tell a story. Someday I can
curl up with a grandchild and tell her about the “cow jammies” that her mother
insisted on wearing every night, stubborn as she was. Or maybe I’ll just wrap
myself up in the memories, knowing that the fabric of this quilt was worn soft
by the lives of my babies.