Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cleaning Up

I have put off doing a lot of things since I placed Roo. My bedroom is a mess of baby clothes and blankets and burp cloths. The sheet is still on the crib mattress. I haven't emptied the diaper pail. I have a stack of plastic latching boxes to put all of Roo's things into, for any future baby I might be lucky enough to have. But for weeks they've been sitting empty in front of the crib.

I decided this morning that I ought to do something to clean up a little, so I neatly folded all of my maternity clothes and put them into one of the boxes. It felt good to get that done. I decided to do a little more. I gathered all of Roo's laundry into her laundry basket. There was a lot more than I thought, and I had to switch to a bigger basket. It will be at least three loads of laundry, I think.

Some things were harder to gather than others. The last week I had Roo I got two or three packages in the mail - presents for her. It hurt to look at them, so I had them tucked away until today. But I made myself put blankets and little dresses and bodysuits into the laundry pile today.

What will be hardest, I think, is writing thank-you notes. My baby shower was on August 1st and I still haven't written a single thank-you. And I have at least a dozen others to write from other gifts. What am I supposed to write? Thank you for the dress. It would have looked darling on my sweet baby, but she's not my baby anymore.

I can't write thank-you notes yet. I can't.

Even harder than the new clothes were the things that Roo wore several times. I found tiny outfits tucked in odd places. I picked up teensy socks and Onesies and I could remember putting them on Roo's little body - pulling bodysuits over her head and watching the funny faces she made as the fabric passed over her face. It was terrible to pick these things up and know that I will never put them on her again.

It probably sounds funny, but one of the strangest things about placing Roo is seeing her, and pictures of her, in unfamiliar clothes. I'll see a picture of her in a dress or pajamas and think, that's not hers. I know what her pajamas look like. I have them here, right in front of me. But the pajamas are no longer hers, just as she is no longer mine.

My brother is coming over on Saturday to take the crib apart. I'm not sure what I'll do then; how I'll feel. What will it be like once all traces of Roo have been packed neatly away? What will I have then? What will I do? I wonder, will it be easier not having reminders of her everywhere I look? Or will it be harder, as though she was never here at all and I only imagined her?

I am in no rush, really. I will do the laundry as I feel like it. I will sort, organize, and put the tiny clothes into boxes on my own schedule. And I will hope and pray that someday in the not-too-distant future, I will have another sweet baby to put those clothes on, a baby I can keep for good.

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