Thursday, March 24, 2011

Change of seasons

One of the items on my spring break to-do list was to clear out the kids' dressers and closets, getting rid of clothes they've outgrown, and replacing them with the warm-weather clothes in larger sizes I bought at the big consignment sale a few weeks back.

Sometimes I go about this half-heartedly, leaving too-small clothes stuffed into the bottom and back of dresser drawers.  That portends the inevitable moment when one kid or another is down to the end of the laundry cycle, and I try to put them into an item that is just embarrassingly inadequate -- jeans that don't cover the ankles, shirts that expose the belly.  And I wonder why I keep putting those clothes back in the drawer so it happens all over again.

The reason, of course, is that I have this irrational sense that I ought to do the job thoroughly -- purging all the outgrown clothes at once and finding a reasonable way to dispose of them -- rather than piecemeal, pulling only the item that I've now noticed doesn't fit anymore.  At some point I usually get motivated or frustrated enough to do that.  The fact that I did it today rather than sometime in June or July has to do with the amount of time since I did it last.  If I hadn't filled up garbage bags with old clothes today, I wouldn't have had any place to put the summer togs I got at Rhea Lana at the beginning of the month.

And it's time to break out those summer clothes -- the shorts, the tank tops, the sundresses I love so much for Cady Gray to wear.  While we are still in the realm of the occasional cool snap (today's high was only in the sixties), we're no longer in danger of needing coats or anything made out of fleece.  The sun beats down warmly, and promises to beat down hotly very soon.  The clo thes that fit last August are few; if I want my kids to be appropriately clad,  I have to take the tags off the new purchases and find places for them in the closet.

Interestingly, I don't go through any version of this process for myself.  I know some people make quite a production out of changing out their wardrobe from winter to summer.  For me, it's just reaching to a slightly different spot on the hanging rack.  Maybe if I bought clothes in any significant quantity for myself on a seasonal basis, I would have a good reason to rotate them more intentionally.  But unlike my children, I don't tend to outgrow my clothes so much as I simply wear them out, a process that takes far longer.  If someone would invent adult clothes that gradually shrink over the course of a year, so that when you put them on again the following winter they would be too small, I might get more variety in my wardrobe and do a better job at changing with the seasons.

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