Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Love Handed Down

Time has a way of moving forward whether we are ready or not.

The other day I was folding clothes and realized that at least six of the t-shirts that my soon-to-be three year old wears are shirts that I bought when I was pregnant with, or shortly thereafter, for my nearly twelve year old. When I bought them, they seemed huge compared to the tiny baby he was at the time and they seemed like they would never fit him. Not only did he grow into, play, sleep, and live in them, but so did my second, and now my third toddler!

But that was exactly why I bought them! On purpose to be worn and loved and then outgrown and passed on to successive siblings (and a few cousins in between as well!). And that is part of what makes them so special. The stories they could tell. The adventures they have lived through. Their battle scars. They are just regular cotton t-shirts, and yet they are much more as well.

I have a much deeper appreciation for old fashioned home made quilts. Pieced together, not with scraps, but with memories.

Those mothers fingered those garments possibly hundreds of times, from baby gowns, overalls, to Sunday bests, to calico dresses with hem let out until there was none left only to be passed on to a younger one and the hem brought up eight inches again. Stroking them as they soothed fevers, kissed scraped knees through patched holes, or tucked in a shirt for the hundredth time. They sewed them fresh, scrubbed out stains, patched holes, found missing buttons, and starched and ironed with sweat on their brows but love in their hearts. And the love is what they put those quilts together with, every piece a part of those mothers hearts.

Yes, time has a way of marching onward.

Sometimes this can be scary and sad. Sometimes it can be exciting and fun! And sometimes it is a mixed up pot of all of that and more.

And that is why we mothers hang on to these treasures which our children outgrow move beyond. Because a picture speaks a thousand words, but cotton is what captures the sense, the feeling, even sometimes the smell of those long gone moments that pass, too fast, too soon.

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