Saturday, August 15, 2015

Girl Clothes: History, Happiness & Heartache

It is both liberating and heartbreaking to go through the boxes and bins of kid clothes in my basement.

Hubby has taught all the children the fine art of graham cracker dipping.
Clothes that Abby wore, then passed to my brother's girls and back to Cora, then on to a my sister's daughter, then back, then to a cousin on the other side of the family.  These clothes have gotten some miles on them!

Abby's first Easter.

Some are so worn that the only place for them is the trash.

This set from my mom is stained almost beyond recognition, and Cora's growing out of Abby's green.
Others still look nearly new.

Oh, I miss those curls!  (The dress, matching bloomers and sandals are waiting to be consigned next spring.)
Too many lost part of the set in all the moving around.

I loved this set.  Abby wore it in kindergarten.  Alas, the skirt is no longer.

There are a few that started with Abby or Cora.  There are quite a few that joined the mix along the way.  (Some of my favorites are matchy dresses or nightgowns that the aforementioned brother's in-laws bought for his girls.  Super cute!)

I took a photo last weekend of Cora and her bestie cousin wearing these nightgowns.

Some go way way back when we had the time, resources and few enough cousins to do an annual grandkid photo shoot with the babies.  (There are 17 of them now.)

Who needs a teething ring when you've got toes?
Plenty have come along because Grandma loves to shop! 
Oh, my, lashes!

So instead of simply unloading a bajillion boxes onto my sister-in-law who's not done having babies, I decided to seriously edit the wardrobe.  Some to her, some to consign, and a large amount to donate.

This set matched perfectly Abby's first lemon.

But who gave my sweet girls permission to grow so big?  Abby's starting high school in a couple weeks, and Cora--my sweet Baby Botox--will be in first grade!

Two happy girls.
It was harder to go through the clothes than I thought, because it brought back so many memories.

Oh, this was a long time ago.  A long, long time ago.

I can still remember my little girls running around in those pants or that top or feeling beautiful in such a dress.

Alas, the satin ribbon on this gorgeous number was ripped almost off.

The outfit with the pale pink ruffly-butt pants that Abby wore as a teeny baby, or the one she was wearing when she took her first steps.
The top was so stained I decided to try a new tie-dye technique to make it wearable.
I failed miserably & it no longer goes with the pants, but you can't see the stains!
And the ones they fit in for such a fleetingly short time.

Cora was Lee's "Piggy Dir-loh." (Pretty Girl)
The dress that came from an older cousin that became so loved that sometimes I had to hide it so Abby'd wear something else;

She wore that pink dress well into preschool and long as she could!

Or the one that we bought when my baby brother got married;

I do not know what is up with that face, but she still makes it.
The outfits we put on Cora and were instantly reminded of what Abby looked like as a baby;

Big sister, Little sister.  I may have kept that outfit.

And the favorites:  the sparkles in that stripy shirt or the softness of that otherwise rather ugly dress.
Life is Good.  It really, really is.

And the nicknames:  the Cinderella shirt, the potholder outfit, the fish pants, Cora's "Beauta' Coat;" 
BTW--"Beauta" is short for "beautiful."  It's reversible, but was never worn as such.

The sparkly shoes.  There have been a lot of sparkles over the last 14 years, and I'm so glad we're not done yet.

This is the first pair.  Bless you, Target.  Bless you.
When Cora grows out of something, she gets excited because she can pass it along to her bestie MomIReallyWishSheCouldBeMySister cousin.
I've loved both of these skirts.  20 points if you noticed it's the same outfit Ab was wearing above.

She remembered specific items of clothing that were so loved they didn't make it to the 'pass along' or 'consign' piles; they were so 'velveteen' that they just had to go away.  There were a few that she was convinced would still fit...until she actually tried them on.  Others she just squealed and hugged as long & tight as I let her. 
Such pretty girls.

I don't regret paring down the amount of stuff in my basement.  I've been yearning for it for a long, long time.  It will be so nice to have more room to move, to breathe, to play.

Camping + Dirt = Happiness, right?  And oh, those crocs.  Did she even wear anything else?

And the future is full of so much fun with my older kids! 
I can tell who's Abby & who's Cora, but can you?

But the more I think about it, the higher likelihood that I'll cry.
Such a cute suit!  This one is in the box for my niece to use.

Because sometimes I just wish I could go back for a short time to see them, to hear them, to hold them, to kiss them.
I can almost smell her warm skin.

 I guess I'll have to be content to hug them for as long & tight as they let me.

PS--with very few exceptions, I've handled each & every item of clothes & shoes pictured in the last week.  It was tactile walk down memory lane.  *sigh*