Their Coats

It was when I hung my children’s coats up in the closet it really hit me.

Their tiny 2T and 4T coats.

I took the hanger, slipped it into and through sleeves of no more than a handful of inches and suddenly was overcome by the passing of time.

I don’t notice it often. Life is usually going too fast and I can’t be interrupted with these emotional thoughts and fancies. There is money to be made. Bills to be paid. Appointments to keep. New technology and emerging ideas to conquer.

We all do it. We all get caught up in that thing called life. Routine.

Then I hang up a few coats and it all stops.

Those tiny coats.

They are not as tiny as they used to be. We’ve gone from one-piece, snapped, leg-less sack coats to small jean jackets and windbreakers hastily thrown on the floor next to tiny backpacks and worksheets.

Pneumonia has slowed me down, and while I spend another day on the couch I wonder why I was going so fast. It’s exciting to be involved with things that don’t involve Playdoh or Elmo. Trying to get in front of all the amazing things happening in the world today from historic elections to emerging technology.

Then my daughter crawls up on my chest and lays her head in the curve of my neck and nuzzles. Her long and lean legs now dangle so far…too far. My son asks to be carried to bed and I clumsily attempt to wrap his almost 5-year old legs around my waist and we struggle up the stairs.

I come back down to tidy up backpacks, and school notes, worksheets, paintings, toys, and coats.

Those tiny coats.

Shutting the closet door I sigh. Shutting the closet door my heart hurts. I won’t carry them soon. They won’t cuddle much soon.

Those coats will soon fall off those hangers from their weight and size. The ideas and thoughts and personalities will take the bodies that fill those tiny coats from dependent to independent and I will have done my job.

I open the closet door again to just touch those coats. Those tiny 2t and 4t coats.

I miss them already and ache.

I make point to lock, into my increasingly forgetful mind, the mental image of those tiny coats, one next to the other, draped and looking generally absurd on those adult hangers.

I breathe deeply and touch their sleeves and shut the door again.

Those tiny coats.

Next week, and the week after, and months and years after that, I’m going to remind myself of those coats over and over and over again.

Those tiny, tiny coats.

And slow down, breathe deep, and enjoy.


  1. That’s a beautiful post. I’m hearing that a lot lately…filing it away for the future. :-):-)

  2. Yesterday, I held the 2 month-old baby of an acquaintance. While her mama unbundled herself, I helped the baby out of her snowsuit and pilot cap. Ohhhh, that downy soft baby hair. Those tiny little stripey socks on tender little feet that haven’t ever even stepped on soft carpeting.

    My first baby is in high school now, and next month, we’re scheduled to go on a weeklong trip to go look at colleges and universities together. All that corny, cheesy stuff they say about time passing too quickly? Well, it’s true. He’s an adult now, with sideburns and a driver’s license, and a car full of dj equipment.

    But holding that downy little baby, I found myself transported back to the time when he was small enough to snuggle under my chin. Sigh.

  3. Yesterday I helped my ten-year-old fold up her tiny training bra.

    I swear, I just breathed twice since she was in that little pink 2T coat. I swear.

  4. ha you have no idea how fast time moves. My baby, the one who used to have a tiny coat, is 18 today.




  5. That made me ache for another baby. To have that tiny baby snuggled against my neck for hours upon hours. My youngest is now 2 and discovering new things each day. I realize that I am desperately fighting her growing up. I refuse to move her to a toddler bed. I could care less if she ever stops eating in a high chair or potty trains. This post reminds me of why.

  6. I loved this post. I just wrote yesterday about missing my baby as he’s getting ready to wean himself – and he’s still a baby. My three-year old is already wearing size 5 clothes and looks huge to me. Huge.

    Sometimes it makes me so sad that when I look back at these times that everything will be fuzzy. That I won’t accurately remember the way they smelled or the sound of their little giggles. That I will miss the people they used to be.

  7. My baby neice is six months old and when I touched her head the other day and it was soft. So silky. You know how baby heads feel?

    My children’s heads don’t feel like that anymore. It choked me up. But at the same time I love their budding independence. I love being past the toddler tantrums and struggles. But then I hold an infant and I know I will never have one of those infants of my own again. My babies are growing up.

  8. SlushTurtle says:

    It’s so unfair that they grow up and don’t need us anymore. I mean, I know that’s what is supposed to happen, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, right? I too am amazed at how big my boys are getting, and try and remind myself when they want to be carried or held and I’m busy that this won’t last long, enjoy it now! Hope you are feeling better!

  9. I loved this post.

    (for me it’s the hands that always gets me)

  10. “I miss them already and ache.”

    Oh I so know. And I often mistake that ache for the ache of another. But I know they will always grow, no matter how many I have. So like you I try to inhale as much of it now and appreciate how fast it will all be gone.

  11. This is so lovely.

    For me it’s feet. From teeny tiny socks to big ole stinky gym shoes.

    This is so lovely.

  12. Beautiful. This really choked me up because I just got home from a movie with my…14 year old. It was just the other day that I was looking at coats that size, I swear the time has flown by. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. How true. I’m already trying to take in as much as I can with Mira and Cordy, struggling to lock away memories of how small Mira is, how it feels to snuggle with both of them, etc.

    I just told someone the other day how I feel like Mira is already growing out of babyhood so fast, and I’m not ready to leave the baby years behind yet.

  14. Aww, this post made me sad. 🙁

  15. This is so 4t is my youngest grandson, my daughter is 41…where does the time go..I can’t believe I’m 61..Treasure life each day, because there is a time, when it rolls by so fast you can’t keep track.

    My best,
    Dorothy from grammology
    remember to call gram

  16. You’re making me cry!! Nooooo!!!

    I was looking at Little Man’s 1T fleece hoodie today. Man, they grow too fast! Either that or we are getting too old! HA!

  17. I’m with Alison. For me, it’s the hands too. Something about those tiny little newborn hands with fingernails… and now with hands (and feet) almost as big as mine…

  18. oh boy did I need to read this today as I thought about running away from home. Now I’m going to hug my 2T and soon to be 4T…

  19. Thankyou for the beautiful post *sniff!sniff!*

    I spent all week arguing with my 2yo and 4yo who think it’s just hilarious to get in as much trouble as they can – and hardly spent a moment with my beautiful 16yo who just got 100% in her major poetry assignment (“that’s nice, dear…”) and wants to move out of home ASAP – don’t go!

    I spend half my time wishing they’d just grow up and wipe their own butts (ok, maybe more than half) and the rest wishing I could just hold them and never let them go… Thanks all of you for reminding me I’m not the only one 🙂

    You chicks rock!


  1. Adrants says:

    Video Chat With Adrants During ‘My ooVoo Day’…

    The event, called My ooVoo Day, will occur February 12, 13 and 15 at 2:30 and 2:45 PM EST each day. During the 15 minute chat sessions, we’ll gab about ads, the Super Bowl, your work, those Salesgenie ads and anything else you want to talk about….

Speak Your Mind