Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Cornsilk Blue Sundress

I was doing the final switcheroo of clothing today. You know, putting all of the summer things away and taking out all of the fall/winter clothes. It seems we're getting to that time of year when we need to be ready for any eventuality.

This is always a full day mammoth event for me. Because as we put away, we ferret out what is too small. Then we decide what goes to whom. Have to find out if Owen (my nephew) hasn't bypassed Julian. I've joked with Owen's parents that we might soon be up to the "hand me ups" with Owen giving his clothing to Julian. But for now, the really cool items go to Owen and then the other wearables go in the charity bag. Same with Tali. Her fabulous hand me downs go to Sara (my friend's daughter) and then the others to charity. Except Tali has begun complaining that Sara whines too much, especially when she doesn't like what she's wearing and doesn't deserve any of her hand me downs. She wants them all unequivocally to go to charity. She has me thinking. They're on the floor between the black charity bag and the bag I had out for Sara. Although Tali has already made up her mind, I'll sleep on that one.

Some things I can't help, they never get given away. Case in point - yellow soft as the day is long dress with a small guitar on the front from the Gap when Tali was about two. It's a size 2. I remember how she looked in it; it came down mid-calf. She still works her way into it and wears it as a jammy shirt with a soft pair of flowery cotton pj pants. It was one of those dresses meant to go through the ages with her.

Then there's the cornsilk blue sundress with yellow sunflowers. This was a hand me down from her cousin Amanda. The first year, it was too big. The next year, she wore with a white tee shirt beneath. The next year it fit pretty decently. This year she wore once or twice, but mainly used it to put on Julian when she played dress up. My Mom was visiting for that one and she got the best laugh she's had in a while watching that vaudeville act. Julian played it up too in full character. I'm laughing thinking of that.

I'm also shedding a tear because truth be known Amanda's life has not flourished as her sundress has. She is now thirteen and poised to enter those difficult teen years, except she's been having difficult years probably up to and after that pretty sundress made its way into our home. Her mother has withdrawn from all family contact, may or may not be using RX drugs for non RX uses and the children have lost contact with their lifeline. She has struggled in school and spent a large part of the past year out of school being homeschooled. Although by whom would be anybody's guess. She is apprently back in school this year. And I sat and shed a tear because I remember when she and her Mom on a girls' day out came to visit us after we first had Tali. She was only five and we have a picture of her smelling the beautiful multi colored mini rose bouquet they brought for us that day. Her long auburn curls and freckles captured so sweetly in the sunlight.

Amanda I hope you again smell those roses.

17 comments:

Swampwitch said...

"Her long auburn curls and freckles captured so sweetly in the sunlight."
What a beautiful description.
I hope Amanda smells the roses again, too.
Nice post.

cindra said...

We'll all hold her in our thoughts and hope that she does smell the roses...

beautifully written post, G. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

neva said...

such a lovely post, NBFF, and so very *you*.

i know what you're going through with those clothes... parting with favorite clothing your children have outgrown is another tangible reminder of the fact that "they don't stay puppies long". i used to delude myself into thinking i was saving a few of their finer/sweeter pieces in order to pass them along to the next generation, but i eventually realized that t-shirts and cute corduroy overalls were not the heirlooms i fancied them to be, except in my own sentimental mind. (that said, i continue to be on the fence with regards to that velvet sailor suit)

as for Amanda... her current plight breaks my heart...as i know it does yours. i'm guessing a little loving intervention is out of the question for now, but perhaps down the road? it sounds like she has a good foundation from which to build, as you know, we are our parent's children, but that doesn't mean we have to turn out like them. xox

pinky said...

What a beautiful post. I hope that Amanda does smell the roses and with kindness like you, there is a good chance she will. Thank you for sharing this, it really touched me.

cj said...

I read the post last night at work, and so did a few of my coworkers. It was a quiet night at Starbucks - we went literally hours with out seeing anyone. We sat and discussed it and even this mornig I had an email - it was still weighing on someone's mind.

It was a beautiful post, and it leaves such lingering thoughts. We all hope and wish for the best for Amanda. Perhaps in the years to come she will come again to smell the roses. Such a lucky neice to have an Aunt that loves her so much.

G said...

Swampwitch: I smile when I read that myself because it reminds me of that beautiful child. Thanks SW>

Cindra: Thank you for sharing it with me and for your sweet words.

Neva: Yes well that was one thing I didn't mention because I knew most of you would understand that the reason it takes a full day is all the strolling donw memory lane and deciding. The ole "keepsake" pile that I forgot to mention. Oh don't you part with that velvet sailor suit!

Interventions sadly have failed. Although sweet Amanda does stay in touch with some of her cousins and sees them from time to time. It is my sister who has removed herself.

I hold out hope because you are so right - even for her parents (well at least my sister). And we are all here for her and her brother in any way that we can be. It's a very powerless feeling.

Pinky: Thank you also for sharing it with me. Amanda knows we all love each of the kids in the family madly (the thing with large families is - more to love and look after). We all have roses waiting for her.

xox to all ~ G

G said...

cj: Here's to slow nights.

You know I didn't go into too much detail - partly my style and I guess I wouldn't know where to end.

It's tricky - it's not a classic "abuse" case. But, she is being parented by someone who is not in the best frame of mind to mold the children's futures. I just hope and pray she gets them through this time or gives in and asks for help. It's not that my siblings havent tried. So it's one of those difficult situations in life. The children of course love their mother madly and probably have come to parent her in many ways.

I guess NEVA'S QUOTE this week, ties in pretty well to this post.

Thank you to your sweet friends and coworkers and to you. We hope the tides will turn and time will be kind.

Kyahgirl said...

I spend ages sorting out kids clothes last week as I was continuing to clean out the storage area (ever hopeful that one day we WILL start working on the basement again). There are so many things that I have pictures of the kids wearing that I couldn't part with ( the pictures are either real, in the photo album, or just in my memory).

I was very touched by your story about Amanda. She is at such a vulnerable age...hopefully the love and support of her extended family can keep her from hitting the ditch.

First Nations said...

g: one decent loving adult example can make all the difference in a kids' family life. cool, loving aunties who are a port in the storm count.
this was lovely, g.

G said...

Kyah: That's our hopes and that's basically what I believe carries us through times like this. Good luck on the basement.

FN: That's often how I think of myself and hope that anyone would feel I am - their port in the storm. No questions asked. Thanks fn.

FelineFrisky said...

What a wonderful way with description you have! So soft, yet real. Amazing how your words feel real to me.

Thanks for sharing! D :}

brian said...

Afternoon GQ,

Amanda has touched a chord in me. I hope she finds the strength to rise above and thrive. I will be thinking of her.

I have no sentiment attached to clothes. They're just something to wear. When we moved to Florida, we had to give away all our heavy things.

weirsdo said...

That's very sad about Amanda. As it happens, we have a similar situation among Dr. Weirsdo's relations. Not so close that we'd be personally involved much, but Mall Diva did meet and like this girl back when they were still children and not teeny. It seems that "Dr. Doo-Doo" is not the only one of his ilk.

Miz BoheMia said...

I am playing catch-up you blogging dynamo you!

I am glad the school trouble got resolved... I cannot even begin to imagine how it all must be there when here, dinky little nowhere town in Spain, it is such crap and so hard to get through to anyone but I will probably get a taste of it once we move back home as we have a lottery system in place and more worrisome things of the sort... oh yay!

Ooooh on the music!!! Many essentials on there and to that I add your wonderful find listed over at the Snark (I LOVE HER) as well as Nathalie Merchant... there's probably more but I am braindead... just got the kids off to school and 'twas a morning of "no easy feats"!

Oh the whole clothes thing I went through recently as well... Lil' M's good stuff goes to my nephew and Lil B's good stuff to my niece and the rest to charity... and I have been extra strict with not taking anything that fits "just right" cause it'll get too small in no time and with all this packing forget it! But I love it! It is so cleansing and though it is hard to part with some of those memories in the guise of clothes, it is both a good lesson in letting go and in giving and it is such a high to open up new space for the new goods my kids have (I tend to store and stash in funky sales and shop ahead for their larger-sizes-to-come so they get to wear the best at the most awesome prices)...

Amanda's little tidbit was heartbreaking... it is awful and unforgivable when adults screw things up for beautiful children with the promise of the world at the feet, or not because their parent stomped on it... yes, may nothing but beauty await her and I wish the same to you my dear friend! Beautiful posts and sorry for my sporadic hellos!

G said...

Diane, Thank you that is such a nice compliment and thank you for sharing with me as well.

Brian: Thanks Brian. We hope so.

On the clothes, I used to hold onto items for myself but if I'm not wearing, they get given away period. With children, it's a whole different story. Although I've become a little less clingey - I mean how much can you keep? Truth is - Scissors has become the more sentimental one about the kids' keepsakes.

Weirsdo: No matter which angle you approach, it's a very difficult situation. It's hard when you see the children in a family all growing in sometimes different directions based on their parents' approach to life. Very difficult.

MizB: That's Round 3 so far this year. Round 4 can't be far off, but as long as it gets resolved and he gets what he needs, that's my concern.

Ooh I know those mornings. I'm so glad that you liked her - and Natalie Merchant was always a fave of mine as well.

You are so smart and disciplined to do that! I sometimes do, but not nearly enough. I love when I find something fabulous for a steal! I think Spain, at least in this area, is pretty decent - no? I always love the individual stylings of Euro fashions.

It is, I mean I haven't gone into detail - there are ups and there are downs to the story. I just hope it will come out well in the end for her, sweet girl.

Thank you for your sweet words - the fact that you're able to stop in at all with everything going on for you is amazing. I am always just happy to see you - whenever that is. xox

cheesemeister said...

Hell would be going back to my teen years. I do hope Amanda fares far better!

G said...

I don't look back so fondly on mine either. Thanks. We hope.