The white lace dress she wore for Nana’s birthday tea. The froggy pajamas she wore the spring we first moved to Hummingbird House (we named our house when we moved here). The overalls and strawberry covered onesie she wore right when she turned two-years-old and we ate sausage and bananas in our backyard fort. The shirt she wore the first time she went to Disneyland. The first dress, chevron striped, that she ever picked out for herself from the store. The orange shirt with white polka dots she wore the first time she saw the pumpkin patch.

And on and on.

Katie and I cleaned out her closet today. It needed cleaning, been about a year and a half. She has grown. I still remember the first time I ever moved her 0-3 month old onesies and gowns from her bureau, back when she turned six months. It was all I could do to keep from crying back then as I boxed them up, realizing that my life would be about watching her grow and grow until she left for college, for her own life. I still get lumpy and misty, though today was much more about the satisfaction of accomplishing a job I’d put off for too long.

This was the first time, too, that Katie has really been involved. She tried on everything of questionable sizing—and there were many pieces that fell into this category. She wears anywhere from a 2T to a 4T, depending on the article, brand, and cut. She is tall, so pants tend to fall by the wayside faster than short-sleeved shirts and some dresses. She actually loved trying on her clothes and helping to sort them. We basically pulled out everything and started fresh, reorganizing everything into categories and really doing it right. A well-organized closet can save so much time. She loved the bonding, the talking time, the being together. Eric crawled around and around until he took a nap. His closet is coming up next.

There is nothing like going through Katie’s clothes to make me realize how fast time is passing. Clothing holds such memory. The next round of cuts, in another year, will be harder to make. Even Katie anticipated it: “This is the dress I wore on the night Grandpa Yoder died” she said as she handed me her white Christmas dress to hang up in our dress section. Where did that come from in her? Of course, I was thinking it, too… And all the clothes she has now that remind me of her becoming a big sister a few months ago. It isn’t the clothes themselves, of course, but the memories attached…and the awareness that those times have passed and are passing.

Cherish the moment, cherish the moment.