We have a dresser used to store gift cards, blankets, and Everett’s old clothes. I was looking through it the other day, because I apparently forgot that isn’t where my socks are stored. I came across a few of Everett’s favourite shirts (aka shirts I loved putting on Everett). I asked Emily why she accidentally put these awesome shirts in the “Everett is too big for these now” drawer. Emily’s answer was simple, “Duh, Everett grew out of those shirts, and he’ll ruin them if you try to squeeze him in them anymore.”
Emily was kindly hinting that I shouldn’t dare to try to prove Everett can still fit the shirts. Despite the awesomeness of “Tears of Fury” and “Going Bananas” and “My Pop is the Coolest”, Everett won’t ever wear them again. According to my wife, clothes don’t have the capability to grow along with your child and that stretching them is not the way to try.
I’m a sentimental guy. I’ll admit that right now. I have letters and cards from people that I haven’t talked to in over 10 years, and I don’t see any reason why I’ll ever see them again. I’m not a pack rat or a candidate for the show Hoarders, but I do get attached to things that cause happy memories to flood in.
It was bittersweet holding those colorful t-shirts. I had fond memories of Everett drooling all over them. It was sad because I knew the only way to see him wear them from now on would be photos.
I started panicking over not taking enough photos or video of my son. We’ve taken a decent amount of pictures. We’ve tried to capture many of his first moments. As I looked down at those small t-shirts, I realized he would never be that small again. Some of those moments that I’ve cherished are not ever going to be repeated.
There will never be another first time I make him laugh.
He sits by himself all the time now, but I remember when I needed to hold the back of his head to support him.
Each of those shirts once absorbed Everett’s spit after he learned how to make motor boat impersonations.
He wore one of those shirts when he first learned how to roll over and how to get into the crawling position.
They are just silly t-shirts. If I really needed to see them, I could put them on one of his stuffed toys. We will likely have other babies that will wear them. They also are reminders that Everett grows up fast, and he is changing weekly.
The yellow t-shirt of a silly monkey was reminding me that I need to slow down and spend as much time as possible with my son. I need to keep that camera handy to catch all his monumental moments. A picture or an old t-shirt is good for triggering memories. But I need to be there to create them.
I’ve been a very lucky dad, because my career allows me to be home with him. I still can hide away for an entire day in my office. Sometimes I need to spend long hours in there, because bills can’t be paid with drool soaked t-shirts. As much as I love to write, the happiest moments of these past 9 months have been when I was playing with my son. These are the memories that will fill my soul with the most joy the next time I look down at an old baby t-shirt.
I’ll miss seeing Everett wear some of his cute clothes, but I look forward to creating many more amazing memories with my little chubbling.