Her eyes open in the darkness. I don’t want to miss school, she says. Okay. She drinks her chocolate milk snuggled into a soft blanket. I dress her in the same spot. Sparkle pants. Flowered top. Soft, snuggly jacket. Scuffed pink boots. Every garment she wears is one that she has loved for years.
Each time she insists on clinging to a beloved and outgrown piece of clothing, I scour the mall and auction sites to find larger versions. And the next winter? Her face fills with joy when she sees familiar favorites that are magically large enough to fit.
Every step I take this winter is filled with nostalgia. I visit baby stores for the last time. After this year, my youngest child will be too big to wear size 5T. I smile at new mothers struggling to calm fussy infants as we both stand in the checkout line. They note the pile of soft, sparkly, pink clothing in my shopping cart and ask about my children. Their eyes widen when I tell them I have three kids, ages nine, eight and three. How do you do it? one mom asks. It’s hard, I reply. I thought I was going to die for the first six years. By the time I had the third kid, I knew what to do, so life got a lot easier.
Kathy Zucker is an international social media Shorty Award winner, mother of three and a startup founder at companies including the Metro Moms Network®.