It’s such a cliche to comment on how fast time is passing and how my children seem to grow so quickly. But as I’m sitting here surrounded in a new batch of school uniform for Sophie’s nursery, writing her name in every label, it feels so real and true. I cannot believe the uniform which seemed so big on her back in September is now comedically small. The cardigan that swamped her arms and was far too long now is short and tight and her trousers are too tight around her little round tummy and creeping up her calves as she shoots up!
I feel like every couple of months I have to work through Alex and Sophie’s bedroom drawers, checking sizes and culling outgrown clothes – such an ordinary activity, but one that holds such meaning to me. My babies are no longer babies, and with every seasonal collection I move out of their room, I almost mourn the childhood phase that has passed.
It’s almost impossible to imagine that the two little people living in my house were ever small enough to wear these baby clothes!
Alex and Sophie couldn’t believe that they used to wear these clothes – when I dug them out of the attic this morning, I think they thought I was expecting them to put them on! I love how in the baby photos the little clothes are clear far too big for them – and yet now they look so tiny!
But its not all sad and wistful – I love the new phases that come (and especially the opportunity to seek out gorgeous new outfits for them to grow into!). And I really love that our outgrown clothes become someone else’s new ones to create more memories.
I was shocked to read that the charity Hubbub has calculated that the average family spends a massive £11,000 on clothing per child growing up (no wonder we can’t afford big holidays!) and worse, that nearly 1/3 of UK clothing ends up in landfill helping no-one. All of Sophie’s old clothes go to her little friend Emilia, and I adore seeing some of my favourite former outfits getting a new lease of life. Alex’s clothes are either given to friends or donated to charity – and I must admit, I’m rather kicking myself for not hanging on to them so I could donate them to the latest fabulous Herne Hill community project – a gifting event to celebrate Mothers’ Day called ‘Bundle of Joy’. Now I have one more reason to love living here!
In the build up to the big day, members of the local community created beautiful Bundles of Joy to gift to other local families – incredibly nearly 200 bundles (made up of some 1158 individual pieces of clothing) were gifted to local mums on Mothers’ Day. Here are some of the parcels ready to go at the brilliant Brockwell Park Lido:
To make a big splash, Hubbub even ran musical flash mobs around the local park to highlight the initiative and to gift the bundles to unbeknown Mums. Here’s the video – gutted I couldn’t take part as this really appeals to my love of singing!:
I’m saving up some of Alex’s clothes ready for the next event- keeping everything crossed it becomes an annual occurrence, and that other parts of the country take part too.