Late last week while sorting and trying to tame my daughters stack of clean diapers I was thinking of my hand-me-down community. Through these nearly 10 years of parenting I have had many lovely, useful items passed down to us. My favorites are the diapers. One bunch is from a friend who was there with me at the early days of this parenting life, someone who was in the middle of her parenting journey. It was such a relief to see beyond the toddler years. When I put those diapers on my little I think of her and her ability to see past the current phase. What a gift. As a recent emigre (so much fancier than ex-pat, yes?) I befriended a fellow American. Some days it just feels a little crazy to hand over your old life to begin a new one. One while similar has a whole new mindset, frame of reference, set of rules to live by. I like this new life. That is why we moved. But sometimes…. When I pull out those diapers from the pile I am reminded that yep, we can do this because we are doing this. Then there are the 6 diapers from one of my newest friends. One day I was whining and lamenting of the state of all these diapers we have. The next time I saw her, she handed me a stack of diapers. Just like that. Her youngest was still wearing that size. A lesson in building community.
These chums are used cloth diapers, I get that. But they feel so much bigger than diapers. Being one of the most important items you will put on your baby, the love my friends have given their children are now part of that diaper. All a bit much, I know but these raggedy cloth diapers are the thing that are the hardest for me to get rid of when we pass through the phases. I am always throwing a few in the rag pile only to go back later, dig through, refold and add back to the stack. I hope someday or somehow I can share with a mama down the road the way these friends have shared with me.