Another goal that I had last weekend was to get the girls to try on the clothes in their closets to see what might work for this spring / summer, and pass down the clothes that they’ve outgrown. We’ve got a pretty good system going on clothes right now. Here’s how it works in a nutshell: E’s the oldest – she benefits from having grandmothers that like to buy her clothes because she’s the firstborn. She wears them and then shoots out of them at record speeds where they are then rounded up for my niece who lives four states away. She eagerly sorts through them, pressing them to her nose to smell her older cousin’s yummy scent on them still (true story), and then she wears them while her mother (my sister) adds to the pile with her own favorite clothing purchases. They skip my nephew (for the most part!) and then the boxes come back across state lines for the little one. Which means she gets not only the surviving duds from her older sister, but the added style from her cousin, and all the new clothes that her grandmothers like to buy her because, well – of course – she’s the baby. Hand-me-down’s rock – it’s like thrifting, only you recognize the smells. (And – in the case of my niece – that’s the very best part.)
Both girls have apparently shot up in height lately because nothing fits anymore. Which means that it’s time for a new rubbermaid tub of collected size 3’s for the little one to arrive, and a bit of sale shopping for the big one. E tried on one pair of shorts after another on Sunday afternoon – none covered enough to earn a spot in the “keep” pile.
“I’m growing too!” the little one chimes in while stretching arms high to the ceiling in too-tight cotton shirts that graze her belly button.
“I’m growing Big – Big to my birthday party! Big to my swimming suit and JUMPING in the water and Big to not being catched in the water! Big to just jumping and jumping and NO CATCHING!”
Her hands pump the sky with each “Big!”, her body crouches and hops with the talk of the pool jumping. She smiles in delight at the thought of being able to jump freely into the water, independent of any adult that might need to be there to catch her. She feels energy in those shorts, those lightweight tops, those bare feet. She can see her legs now that they are out of long pants; her arms can stretch further without the restraining knit of a sweater. Don’t you know that feeling of starting to shed off the weight of winter? How much faster you walk in the sun and a pair of sandals?
The girls romp around the third floor for the rest of the afternoon, wearing the last pair of too-tight clothes from a summer too-long past. They wear them to bed where they dream of longer sun-filled evenings and summer walks on the beach. When you check on them later, not even the blankets seem to fit. “You’re growing Big!” you whisper, and pull out another blanket from the closet for their toes.