The other evening was laundry night and I needed to grab a couple of clothes hangers from my daughter's bedroom closet. Her school gym clothes were still a bit damp after I had finished washing them. Given that my daughter only lives with me part of the time and doesn't keep her clothes at my house, the only things hanging in her closet are the pajamas that she has outgrown over the years. For some reason, when I opened her closet something in my mind made me linger. Hanging in front of me were markers of specific periods spanning the full extent of my daughter's life. Instinctively I reached out and touched the fabric of her nightgowns as if that would allow me to reconnect with that bubbly child from years past. It made me miss those younger versions of my daughter where I was the center of her life and she looked to me for so many things. I then thought of all of those evenings where I would tuck her into bed in her PJs and spend time with her reading and gabbing and laughing, wringing every bit of joy and life out of our times together.
I have written on this topic before, so forgive me for revisiting the past in this paragraph. I have always felt that I was much better equipped to relate to the younger version of my daughter than the young woman she is today. My mind is geared to singing silly songs and having fun with make believe. Rolling a ball back and forth across the floor and making a big deal out of watching our favorite shows together. Relating to a girl in high school who is battling with her school lessons and figuring out more adult relationships, puberty and boys and fitting in. I know very little of such things.
There was a slogan for a children's clothing line I remember from years ago, "If they could just stay little til their Carter's wear out." Looking over my daughter's past as seen through a progression of her PJs, lined up left to right from her oldest to her most recent, I can relate to that slogan.