When We Cut the Feet Off of Their Pajamas…

untitled-design-6“Will you please grab the pajamas in Jaxton’s drawer before you put that pile away?” I shouted as my mom walked toward my boys’ room with a freshly folded stack of pjs.

We had folded what seemed like thirty loads of laundry that evening. (I’d like to pause for a brief moment of gratitude for moms everywhere who still show up and help fold our laundry when we’re thirty years old.)

We weren’t just washing and putting the clothes away that night. I was right in the middle of sorting through the clothes that didn’t fit my kids anymore. Specifically, I was tired of cramming clothes into my two-year old’s drawer when he only wore about three of the pajama sets in there.

My mom came back with arms full of colorful pjs… Batman and tractors and police cars, some of them shirts and pants, and others of them footy pajamas with the little feet attached – all mostly hand-me-downs from his big brother.

I quickly answered as my mom held up each one.

Good. Too small. Keep it. Donate. Donate. Donate.

She held up a pair of footy pajamas… with the feet cut off. So, I guess they weren’t really footy pajamas anymore.

What about these?

Those were Kolton’s, I answered.

I thought back five years earlier to the night I had cut the feet from the 2T jammies. My oldest (who is now nearly seven) had climbed up into my lap to read our bedtime story.

“Too tight, Momma,” he told me as he pointed to his toes. I had helped him slip them off, and we walked together to the kitchen. I found a pair of scissors, and he watched curiously as I carefully cut the feet from the too small pjs. I wasn’t new to cutting the feet from jammies. My daughter always hated having her feet covered at night. I had cut the feet from many pairs of pjs. But that night, as I cut the feet from my son’s, I remember thinking that it would buy me some time – and it did. We got a few more months out of those little pajamas before I tucked them into the attic for my “someday” baby.

But as my mom held up the footless footy pajamas that my “someday” baby had already outgrown too, the baby we know is our last, I cried.

“We can get rid of those,” I said through tears. “Just let me take a picture first.”

I laid them out on the kitchen counter and snapped a photo wondering why I was so attached to them.

Sometimes they are just pajamas, and sometimes they are a reminder of a season that we can’t hold onto. They make obvious the truth that we have stretched the time as far as possible. We have squeezed as much life out of that season as we could, and time is moving on no matter how we feel about it. They are a reminder that we cannot contain these little years (or any of the years).

They might look like a pair of raggy old jammies. But when we cut the feet off of their pajamas, we aren’t just reminded of the days we can’t get back. We must face the fact that we are all growing around here, and before we know it, we will have stretched our time as far as we could.

Before bed tonight, a simple reminder for us to love our kids in their jammies as hard and fully and as right now we can. Time only moves one way. The only choice we have is to stay present.


  • Kate says:

    I hate putting away clothes. The first 2 years of my daughters clothes, I cried every time. After my son was born and growing through clothes so quickly, I had my husband help me one time. After that experience, he told me he understood why I had such a hard time putting clothes away. It’s not just clothes. It is a physical marker of the passage of time, and phases with each child we will never have again but in memory. This made me cry remembering all the clothes we’ve grown through!

  • Martha G says:

    There were so many last times that I didn’t notice. Unlike the carefully documented and photographed ‘firsts’, we don’t recognized the ‘lasts’ until it’s too late. Now, when my 20 year old baby asks for ‘a proper hug’, you can bet I stop what I’m doing and soak it up!

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