Nothing Fits, They’re Getting Big

Our boy has new shoes. They are red. They have that runner’s tread and slope at the toe. They are Transformers, I think. 

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I didn’t think his toes were nearly pressed to the inside of his navy shoes until I squat-down and checked. Tight! Small! One day the shoe is okaaaay, doable, and the next day, it is disaster bordering on neglect!

Kids grow so stealthily; the last pair of new shoes are suddenly a parody of how shoes should fit. We have flung my girl’s clothes from dresser drawer directly to doll pile! One has to be quick! You have one week to wear this new dress from your Auntie! Go! I want to see it on you at every meal and through the night! (Her fuzzy Disney bear has a pretty nice wardrobe from the handful of items just too nice to pass on or chuck). 

We have given away a fortune in baby clothes and gear, always to the same (lucky) recipient. I forward bags and bags of baby, toddler, and increasingly-big-kid finery. It is sometimes emotionally tough, sometimes a delight. I pass-on the treasures that appear in the most joyful photographs of my life! I clear what little small closets I have. Out with the old! It is healthy to be this way, but sometimes I ache.

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Children outgrow their toys, their heirloom stitches, the gifts from faraway family members, the shirts that read, “ONE YEAR OLD BOY,” and all you can do it enjoy the thing while it’s here. I try to find that picture online, scouring Facebook for photos of my pigtailed one-year-old in her lilac dress. I dream up ways to sew all of their childhood costumes into one pillow. Even the best items can yellow in a bag, waiting. 

Shoes keep leaving. I placed about thirty-two pairs of kid shoes in a blue Costco bag downstairs. They have waited three days at the door, perhaps two months in the linen closet, and longer in the depths of our shoe closet, loitering awkwardly. Every kiddo-item waits for the boot, the revolving door called change and outgrowth. It’s enough to make you read The Velveteen Rabbit and cry. Everything is on its way out.

Is this what it is, every month, scavenging socks drawers for what is now too tight and ill-fitting? Will I bag up sentiment, cloth, and tread until they are adults? I am more than content to have healthy, growing kids. I am. This is what it should be. This is the best of the best, growing taller and lanky in their sleep, sprouting long feet, hair nails, and teeth, growing strong hearts that beat. I can get on board with that.

I’ll move out the old to get to the new. It’ll be great. We’ll get even better sneakers, three sizes too big.

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