As I folded each piece of baby clothing and laid it out on the table in my parent's well-loved garage, I could see all the moments flash before my eyes.
The shopping trips with my mom, excited to become a grandma for the first time. Her laughing and saying, "You're my best hope for grandchildren."
My baby shower, peeling back the tissue paper to reveal the thoughtfulness of the person who gave the gift.
Washing the baskets of baby clothes, folding each piece, and putting them all away in the wardrobe in anticipation of his arrival.
Dressing my Sam in each one...pajamas, onesies, little socks, tshirts, his Curious George romper, his Mommy's Little Monkey romper...
Frantically scrubbing the vomit or poop stains with Shout.
Watching Sam perform all his "firsts" in each piece. The outfit he came home from the hospital in. The striped Old Navy "prison uniform" that he stood up for the first time in. The plaid preppy romper that he cruised the furniture in. The overall set he had his first portrait taken in.
Family Halloweens and Christmas...costumes and outfits that everyone said were "so adorable."
Packing up each size as Sam outgrew them...0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 2T...often long before he had actually reached the appropriate age mark.
Taking the bags and boxes up from the basement and sorting through them, sure that Alex would "love" certain pieces...sure that he would "look adorable" in others...worried that he was going to have to wear a lot of hand-me-downs.
Adding in the clothes that a loving friend sent for Alex and sorting out some more hand-me-downs that I decided weren't "quite right."
Digging through the boxes, trying to find the perfect thing to bury our Alex in.
Trying to imagine what he would look like in each piece for his first time standing up in...for his first steps...for his first portrait...for each Halloween and Christmas.
Hiding the boxes in the basement so I wouldn't have to look at them.
Trying desperately to remember...was it a snail or a bug on the sleeper I chose to bury Alex in?
Wanting to keep each piece in order to remember every happy moment experienced.
Wanting each piece gone so as not to have to remember what should have been.
Wanting to curl up in a ball and cry. Smiling instead...trying to make it feel right when I know it will never be right again.