Love Lessons from the Top of the Closet

Baby Memory Box

….Can a leak in the roof be serendipitous?  Normally, I would answer ‘no,’ however, in this case, I am starting to think that  my recent one was lucky.  A few weeks ago, the snow came melting through the crawl space above my office closet which required me emptying the contents from the top of the closet onto the couch where it still remains because the leak has only been temporarily fixed. I have been crawling out of my skin with how messy my office has become and heading to Starbucks with greater regularity, but then early this morning, I decided to sift through some of the stuff.

There it was in the great big pile of crap….My memory box for my first-born.  Complete with the outfit he wore home from the hospital and to his bris and a little envelope with locks of his hair.  I cannot believe that the sleepy-eyed 5’3” preteen who just left for school with the faintest hairline forming above his upper lip wore that little blue plush DKNY onesie.  I loved that outfit with the soft feel and ribbon closure.  An indulgence that I would only be able to partake in for a few years, dressing my adorable little baby boy in what I wanted, I am glad I took advantage.  A drastic difference between the soft layette which my mom and I carefully hand-picked each item washing each one in Dreft for my baby boy’s sensitive skin.  Now, my laundry room is filled with Hanes undershirts and basketball jerseys and boxer briefs that need something way stronger than Dreft.

When did this happen?  I look at my son and even though my eyes process his body growing and I hear his voice deepening, and I know that PDA is largely taboo, in my mind – he is a little peanut.  My tiny baby boy, my first-born, the tiny sweet-smelling bundle who I rocked to sleep in my yellow chenille rocker while kissing his forehead over and over.  Where is that baby?  Is he in there?  Is he shouting ‘pick and roll’ at the Xbox?

I continued fingering through the memory box.  There were supplies from the first birthday party including a deflated balloon and a Snoopy tablecloth?!?!?, and then there it was: a card that read ‘Happy 1st Valentine’s Day.’  On Valentine’s Day, 2013, nonetheless.  The year my first-born will turn a bar-mitzvah.  The year that he will become a TEENager.  That is the year which I unearth my baby’s first Valentine Card which I wrote to him when he was just shy of being 2 months old.

My first Valentine

Of course, a Snoopy card because that is our favorite, I wrote:


Dear Jacksie,

We Love You.  We are anxious to watch you grow up and sleep through the night.

Love Always, Mom and Dad.


Now, I am rethinking the whole ‘anxious to watch you grow up’ as this morning, my body ached for ‘Jacksie’ to be the little baby being rocked to sleep in my arms while kissed you over and over on the forehead.  I bought the most awesome music card that also lights up and does everything short of coming to life for Jackson today on Valentine’s Day in his thirteenth year, and I got a smile (not a hug yet because it was early morning and preteen boys take a long time to wake up).  I got a smile and it was worth it because that smile is my baby’s smile, but I was tempted to say ‘Why don’t you stay home from school and we can do whatever you want all day as long as it means I am near you?’  Aack, I miss that baby.

Back then in my sleepless state, I was anxious for Jackson to grow up and sleep and talk and walk.  Now, I am not sure.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Scott February 14, 2013, 11:10 AM

    Great post, and as the father of a 1 year old girl and a just-turned 3 boy, I know the feelings you describe will be here someday. Much of the time I really dislike working from home, however it does allow me to spend huge amounts of time with both kids, way more than most dads who leave the house every day for work.

    Anyway, your Dreft reference also caught my eye. We were the same way preparing for our first baby’s arrival and subsequent laundry. I was mortified when I saw how much Dreft costs, but my wife insisted that it was critically important. Fast-forward to arrival of baby #2 a year ago… which time we were totally over the whole Dreft thing, which I have concluded is a multi-million dollar scam! All the kids’ clothes are now laundered with the same hardcore All from Sam’s Club that we use on our clothes. What do you think?

    • Rachel Blaufeld February 14, 2013, 12:58 PM

      well, I remember doing everything a little less stringent the second time around. As in used regular laundry detergent and didn’t sterilize the binky when it fell on the ground 🙂

  • Judy Goldman February 14, 2013, 4:13 PM

    I love this post. I am reading it and the tears are streaming down my cheeks. I remember the beautiful outfit which Jacksie wore to go home and I will always remember his beautiful smile. He still has that smile that lights up the room. It all goes by too quickly and now we are on to many more wonderful chapters with Jackson. He sure is a great kid/pre-teen.
    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  • Barbara Lehman February 14, 2013, 4:37 PM

    I love this blog. Jacksie and Blakie are so terrific, and it seems like they grew up overnight! But, truthfully, to me, it seems like like YOU, Rachel, were just a wee baby! How did you grow up so fast, and now have two children of your own growing up way too fast. So, let’s enjoy the ride and all of the changes that come with it.


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