This weekend we got together with a bunch of neighbors to collect donations for Staten Islanders. The turnout was amazing, yielding two garages full (floor to ceiling) of food, blankets, medical supplies, bottled water, winter coats, clothing, and toiletries. On Sunday morning volunteers drove it in truckloads over the Verrazano Bridge directly to families in need.
In one of those trucks sat a clear trash bag full of fluffy pink baby girl's clothes and shoes.. folded stacks of onesies, wooly knit sweaters, cozy winter pantsuits, caps, socks, and booties... Biet's entire wardrobe up to this point. Save for three little items with sentimental value, all of the clothing of her babyhood has now moved on, to another family, to another baby girl somewhere.
I had been wondering what to do with the plentitude of pink clothes which sat in the top of our linen closet. Part of me wanted to hold on to them, in case another baby girl was in our future somewhere. But another part of me, the minimalist, organized, utilitarian part (a much smaller part than the hopeful, sentimental, pack-rat part), simply wanted to be rid of it all. I had been thinking of giving them to a local children's thrift shop for some time now.
But now I knew why they had remained on that shelf for so long. They were waiting to be used, now, by another baby (or babies) somewhere, in another borough of our city. So off they went. We donated everything, and it still didn't feel like enough. Now a shelf of our closet is empty and ready for little boy clothes. And hopefully, all of these tiny girly things will make their way into the lives and memories of other families.
While sorting and folding the piles, I found one of the socks that Biet wore on her very first night with us. In anticipation of her arrival, Gaby had set up the crib, I had sewed crib sheets, and we had laid out a little receiving outfit on the mattress. These little socks were part of that outfit, and they were the first ones to touch her feet when she finally arrived. Only one remains, and I can't believe how very small it now looks to me.
For anyone seeking ways to help, here are some great links: