Growing

There is no stopping time.

I’ve seen how babies grow into toddlers, toddlers become preschoolers, and preschoolers somehow morph into little people who can read, write, and make their own lunches.

You really don’t notice the changes when you are with them. A tooth falls out, a pair of shoes suddenly are too tight, or the hair that was once chopped way too short by an older sibling, somehow fits into pigtails again. 😉

The changes happen so quickly, and yet so gradually that it surprises me every time that I realize one of my children has outgrown their wardrobe. Today was one of those days where Gracie got dressed for school, and I noticed that those sneaky 4-5T tops were a bit too short.

I pulled a basket of Addie’s hand-me-downs down from the top of her closet. I emptied the closet full of clothing that Gracelyn could no longer wear. I filled her cubbies with a new variety of tops, jeans, dresses, and sweaters.

And I cried.

Like the ugly, shoulders shaking,  tears streaming kind of sobbing.

Moms. You will get me on this one: you know that feeling you get when you fold up your baby’s little newborn clothes for the last time, knowing that he or she will never quite be that small again? That feeling that tugs at your heartstrings, and reminds you that babies don’t keep?

It was like that.

Kind of.

But so much worse.

Gracelyn is the same age that Addison was, when her Dad passed away.

She is six and a half years old.

As I pulled out and looked at each item of clothing, all I could see was little six year old Addie.

I could see her cuddled up on the couch with her Dad.

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I could see her laughing at the aquarium on our last family vacation together.

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I could see her running home from school to show us the pumpkin she had picked herself on a field trip.

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I could see myself curling her pretty red hair and helping her get dressed for family pictures..the ones that were taken only days before Ryan got sick.

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And I could see her crawling into my bed in her pink nightgown. Sobbing, because she missed her Daddy who had gone to heaven only days before. Then finally falling asleep, while she hugged the teddy bear “Daddy” gave her when he had to say goodbye.

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When I saw each item of clothing, memories flooded through my mind, and my heart broke again for the little girl that had worn them last.

It hurt to remember.

And it hurt to see another physical reminder of just how much has changed since that difficult time.

Years have passed.

Teeth have fallen out.

Shoes have gotten too tight.

Shirts have gotten too short for little tummies.

My babies have grown, and he has missed so much. We have missed HIM so much.

And yet time moves forward. And so do we.

Gracie will wear those same clothes, and she will make new memories. And THOSE memories will be happy ones.

And I will think of her Daddy while she wears them. ❤