Friday, March 25, 2011

Moving On

Our attic is a mess. It runs the whole length of the house, and literally half of it is full of clothes that is either too small or too big. Seasonal clothes. Shoes. Bins and bins of them. Baby clothes is organized by size and sex. You can see our evolution from plastic bins to plastic bags that are more "smooshable." Is there a better word for this? Probably. But I can't think of one right now.
When Baby was born, the order of the bins became chaos as we tried to fish out the right sizes for the right sex.
Having our third child, I was excited to be able to give the "other sex" clothes away, and restore order to the "clothes monster." As it turned out, the girl clothes, since we had a boy. I've been planning this for months. A number of my friends were pregnant, and I was waiting for one of them to have a girl, but they all had boys, so I decided to start giving the boy clothes away as Baby started growing out of them.
Tonight, the first batch went, and although I had been so excited to do this, emotions came whirling at me. A wave of nostalgia came over me as I went through one of the girl bins last week, looking for white onesies. I would never have a baby girl again. Their time in our family is finished. And the girl clothes are just so cute! The clothes that went tonight, Baby was wearing just a few weeks ago. As I sorted the clothes into two piles, each for a friend, I thought of my first born, who wore these clothes six years ago. How can I put into words the sentiments that the clothes evoked? The milestones that our first born hit while wearing them.  Our favorite outfits. The laughter and the tears that came with having him enter our life. As I was carrying the bags down the stairs, I said to my husband, "Here's the first batch of Son and Baby's clothes to go, and you probably don't want to know which ones." He said, "Maybe there are some we want to the cute Peter Rabbit ones...." You don't want to know, I replied, and off I went. I was proud of myself for holding to the task at hand, but when my friend asked me if I want the clothes back when her son has grown out of them, I said, "No, I don't think so..." and later, "Can I think about it, and let you know?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unexpected Joy

A look. One look can bring you up, or bring you down. I woke up *mad* today because my 4 month old woke up before 6 am and would not go back to sleep. I hate getting up before 7 am. I hate getting up at 7 am too, but that's pretty much when the other kids get up, so my day has to start.
Growl, growl. I growled at everyone this morning, especially my 4 year old. The house is a wreck. What else is new, but it was more so because last night we made жаворонки (zhavoronki) in honor of the 40 martyrs.

This morning, the plan was to deliver some zhavoronki to some members of our parish. The house was beckoning me: clean me, clean me! My four year old was whining: read to me, read to me! and the baby wasn't napping according to plan. Of course. I did the dishes. I read to child. I picked up baby. We got in the car. In the back of my mind I'm thinking, is this worth it? Why am I doing this. I have 3 kids to tend to, I have a dirty house, I need to be cooking. The answer came to me at the third stop. Although I called some people to warn them of our arrival, I hadn't called here. We knocked on the door, and daughter handed over the bag.
-"What is this?"
-"We made zhavoronki for you."
And there it was. The look. The look that brought me up, the look that made it all worthwhile. We had brought joy into someone's life. Unexpected joy. For them, and for me. My heart soared, and I thanked God for hearing my prayer to see us through this good deed. That's when I realized that this wasn't just about us. It wasn't about going home feeling good about ourselves for handing out our baked goods. Our good deed actually touched people. Bringing joy into someone's life today made our life a little easier somehow. Daughter seemed happier to play independently as I cleaned the house. I was able to cook and clean. Baby still didn't cooperate, but hey. You can't have it all, can you?