Saturday, November 26, 2005

Unpacking baby clothes

Some of us are fortunate--we know that when we save the physical objects, we will also save the soul and spirit of the time, place and people that are associated with them. Then there are a very select few who know that if those physical objects are clothing or made of cloth, they should be freshly laundered before packing them away for 30 years and then rechecked when repacked for moving. I was of the former group, but not the latter. So, before I can repack them, everything needs to be laundered.

Even so, the breath was knocked out of me this morning when I unpacked my children's clothing from two tall plastic tubs, dropped off here by my son-in-law. There were some items I was specifically anticipating, like the two baby quilts I blogged about here and here. And I found them. I was pretty sure I'd find the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls my friend Lynne brought with her on a visit when the kids were about 3 and 4, and I did. I had planned to give back to my niece two little dresses her mother had made for her which were later passed along to my daughter, but they weren't there, so I think I'd returned them when her own daughters were little.

In the intervening years, I'd forgotten how precious baby feet are! I not only found the little brown and white suit my son wore on his baptismal day, but the tiny shoes--probably not big enough to contain his big toe now. And the little white, lace up high tops my oldest son was wearing the day he died, as well as the pants and shirt and snow suit.

And the dollies! I didn't remember all those dolls, hair askew, and heads falling off, and eyeballs caved in. And surprise--some of them were not wearing the clothing they came with, but instead had outfits that my mother had made. Because of the zig-zag stitches and fabrics, I knew they were made specifically for my daughter's dolls and not mine. I had planned to write about a wonderful two piece outfit Mother had made for me in 1956, but had neither a pattern, a photograph or a scrap of material. And there was the blue fitted vest fabric with the silver thread, in a dolly cape with a hood. I almost cried remembering a Mother who could sew like that.


Anonymous said...

Hi Aunt Norma...
In looking at the picture of all the dolls you uncovered, I saw "Sammie" and "Suzie"....and thought of Gram. I still have mine, packed in a very special box, waiting for my someday grandchildren:).....Amy

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