Donating Clothes Becomes a Rite of Passage

Every season, I try to weed out my closet of clothes I haven't worn for years or have forgotten its existence. It's always surprising when I unearth a shirt or sweater that's been buried in the closet or drawer and then have to decide if it's worth saving or or not. Most times, I try to save what I've rediscovered, but there have been times when I've donated clothing that I know I'll never wear again.

Like me, my daughter goes through her closet once or twice a year, to determine what she wants to keep or donate. While I have done this for her throughout her childhood, she has taken over that task and doing so has made me contemplative about the whole process. While the process is time-consuming, it has given me pause for thought of how this time, it's different.

As my daughter goes through every shirt, sweater or skirt that no longer fits her or "it's not my style anymore", I think about all the outfits and colors she has gone through over the years. From pinks, purples, browns and blues during the toddler years(shirts and pants always matched in color - my choice), to last season's "what's in style", she has gone through her share of wardrobe.

This time around, as my daughter went through her clothes to pick out what to keep or donate, I felt a combined sense of loss and growth. The look of delight and approval in my daughter's eyes as I came home with clothes for her to try on during the toddler to pre-teen stages has run its course. Nowadays, when I take her clothes-shopping, I'm merely a bystander who watches her pick out what she may or may not like. I still have a say in what she can purchase, but my opinion of what she may like is quite different from hers. I realize that her desire to give away clothes is part of growing up, of knowing what she wants and giving away what she can no longer use. It's just as much an adjustment for me, realizing that I can let her make some of her decisions, at least when it regards clothes. That's my take on this, what's yours?

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