I remember how much I looked forward to wandering through shops filled with pint-sized clothing. Our road to parenthood was much bumpier than I imagined it would be, and being able to touch and ooh and ahh over onsies was one of the tangible signs that we'd made it.
As we've added more children to our family, hand-me-downs have taken precedence over new purchases. But still, I've always loved the thrill of choosing miniature outfits.
Our firstborn is the most fashion-forward in our family. And not just because she's about to become a tween (whaaaaaaaaaat? already?????????)—she's just always had a good eye.
She puts together the most delightful and bohemian-esque ensembles and offers her dear, old mom great advice when it's time to get dressed up. She also inspires her two younger sisters—who are doing their best to follow in her blue, suede moccasins.
Her birthday is this week, so we've been gathering a few gifts from her wish list.
This year, she asked for a very specific and reasonably-priced hoodie that can only be found in a certain teen-centred store.
The littlest one and I went there last week for the first time.
I felt sad.
There were no pint-sized sections in the store. In fact, the smallest sizes would be slightly big for the girl who sent me there.
And I thought, how am I already here?
Yesterday, JB decided to spend an afternoon with our girl, so they could choose a couple of things for her birthday. We both believe in the value of having her dad weigh in on what is and isn't acceptable attire at this age—even though she's given us no reason to fret so far.
They went on their own, without the distraction of mom or siblings, and he sent humorous photos and texts of their adventures.
Together, they chose some really nice, parent-approved pieces. They had a lot of fun and came home with stories of loud music, stinky perfume, and having to squint in the dark to read price tags.
Later, after the kids were in bed and we were lying in bed, he told me how nice it was to spend that time with her.
The space between us got quiet after that, but I know we were connected by the same thought.
How are we already here?