Today, Courtney and I had a very sublime experience. It is finally Spring here, and we cleaned out Katherine’s room. As part of the process, we got all her old clothes and toys together to donate to my brother who is expecting a little girl this summer. This is the very first time that we’ve donated any of Katherine’s toys or clothes, and it showed. The final result was three large garbage bags of clothes, two large boxes of toys, and a stack of baby furniture and dolls.
While we were going through the clothes, we kept pulling out these little dresses, shirts, socks, shoes, and other articles of clothing. They seemed so tiny and so delicate. Happily, each article of clothing brought back fond memories of first steps, first words, and first smiles.
As we continued, though, we both became distinctly aware of how far she has come and how quickly it has passed. Much too quickly. She’s still small enough that I can cradle her in my arms, but that won’t stay forever.
As we were finishing, the song “Butterfly Kisses” came on the radio. If you’ve never heard it, the basic gist is the growth of a daughter from infancy to marriage and is told through the eyes of the father. It was probably the simple fact that we were going through these treasured items, but by the end of the song, we were both very emotional.
I never imagined that a person could have such an effect on me. I do love my wife, and I know that she will always be mine through the eternities, and I think that makes these moments with my daughter all the more precious. I only have her for another few years before she’ll be on her own, making her own home and her own memories. And each of these years is as precious to me as the very first time our eyes met, the very first hug, first kiss, I love you, and smile.
Now that these treasured reminders of our daughter are passing from our home to my brother’s, here’s a solemn prayer that the happiness and love that once filled those clothes continues. And hopefully we’ll find a way to make each moment last forever.