I actually wrote this a few weeks ago, but as we didn’t have Internet at the time, I wasn’t able to post it. So I’m putting this up here now.
Almost done with unpacking, getting settled in after our move earlier this week. This apartment is starting to look more like a home – little girl’s room is beautiful. I love the decorations, the fact that she finally has her own room, a space that is wholly her own.
There is a pile of boxes in the corner of the living room, that I am slowly knocking out one by one. A few boxes in particular stood out to me today. Boxes of little girl clothing, all from before her diagnosis, before the surgeries and treatments. Like everything else in the house, they had been packed without me, while I was in Seattle with little girl.
There were dresses, outfits, pants and shirts. Adorable clothes, many of them fresh, almost brand new. Some she had only worn once or twice.
And shoes. A pair of boots, thick snow boots in anticipation of winter. They were still in mint condition. I think she only wore them twice, if that. They may have been too big for her yet, a year ago. They’d fit her now, I’m sure. Size six, about what she wears now – or would, without her brace.
But instead, they are going in a box, along with all those clothes. They will be passed on to a friend, a little girl who will wear them well. Her mom will go through the clothes, to see if some might fit the younger girl’s frame.
Clothes that were barely worn. Many of them looking like they’d just come from the store – like I brought them home from Walmart yesterday. Nine months in storage did nothing to dim their newness. Clothes that are now three or even four sizes too small.
She’s had several growth spurts this past year, all back to back. She shot up in weight and height, jumping from wearing 18-24 month clothing, to now wearing 3-4T.
There’s something a little sad in these clothes, these garments so untouched. The boots fresh from the store – I almost feel as though I could turn them over and I’d find the tag, announcing $12.99 for a pair of girl’s size six winter boots. There is no wearing on the sole, the pink rubber is just as bright as it ever was, not even shadowed by a step into the dirt.
She’ll never wear them. Her brace, as any special needs parent knows, makes that impossible. For one thing, with the brace only on one leg, she needs two different shoes – one regular, and one two sizes up to fit over the brace. And any parent with experience in AFO’s will tell you that getting a brace into thick, stiff winter boots is a nightmare that isn’t even worth the attempt.
Two boxes, at least – more as I go through the rest of the boxes. Clothes that were lovingly purchased for her, only to have them languish in storage while she battled for her life one hundred fifty miles away. And now that we’re home and we have unpacked the boxes, she’s outgrown the clothing. An entire wardrobe – silent textile victims of a battle that raged on many fronts, and one little girl at the center of it all.