It's that time of year again - the seasons are changing; Winter has reluctantly released its grasp on the world and Spring is in full bloom! The weather is warmer, the sun seems brighter and it's just about that time to break out the kids' shorts and flip flops. But anyone with children knows that breaking out those shorts and flip flops also means the long process of packing away the Winter pants and boots, sorting through clothes that might still fit from last year, trying to decide who will fit what. And in that time of loading up bins and trash bags of outgrown items, pulling out old and buying new and bigger ones, there might also be a few trips down memory lane, a tear shed, a laugh enjoyed, and especially for this Momma, an aching heart shifting and sighing as it adjusts to a newly-acquired fray: discovering how fast time flies.
In my recent days of clothes sorting, I came upon a cute little pink and orange dress and I was instantly transferred back in time to last summer. Barely gracing the tops of Angelina's knobby knees, this dress could be seen flitting about in the warm breezes as she danced by us in her bare feet, chasing butterflies and laughing with her brother. In it's heyday, this dress saw daylight at least once a week, if not more, always the favorite to wear while spending the afternoon in the sunshine and pulling up dandelions, and even on the occasional search for worms. Many times, it would be dug out of the dirty clothes basket just to be worn indoors as she raced through the house singing and dancing until bedtime.
I think about the times when I have pulled out Angelina's hand-me-downs for Bella, reminiscing about how small Angel used to be, the cute outfits she wore, how young she really was. And how Bella has grown to fit them already. And how putting away these clothes at the end of the year always leaves me a little sad, and yet a little hopeful. This pink dress is too short for Angelina this year and it will be returned to the bin for Bella when she is a little bit bigger. It will get a second life and I will get one more year of memories and laughs before I am putting it away once more, exchanging flip flops for Winter boots and remembering just how fast time really does fly.