Post by Jessica R.
This weekend my almost three-year-old walked around in jeans that boast a huge hole in the knee. It’s not her fault, she’s no harder on her clothes than any other toddler, but she’s the third, if not fourth, owner of these jeans. Her cousins wore them first and I was thrilled to inherit the jeans, along with bags of other things, because let’s face it, kid clothes aren’t cheap.
My sister-in-law would drop off a bag of hand-me-downs and I’d settle down for a fun half hour of sorting through her offerings to see what I discovered. Treasures lay nestled next to things I would never have considered purchasing. At the same time, things I would never have noticed in a store turned out to be treasures. Whatever didn’t work for us would get handed on to another family or Goodwill. Everything else ended up in my daughter’s closet, only to be packed up and saved for the next child once she outgrew it. In a never ending cycle of hand-me-downs, some of the things they’ve both worn have since gone on to dress other children
My niece is no longer outgrowing clothes fast enough to keep my daughters dressed, so I find myself navigating the sale rack at Carters more often than ever. It’s fun to pick out brand new outfits, but I have to admit I miss the thrill of digging into a bag of hand-me-downs to see what I’ll find. It was a bit like celebrating my birthday or Christmas off season. The holes in my daughter’s jeans are a reminder of our connection to family and friends, a tie in to the community shouldering us as we raise our kids. It’s heartwarming even if it lets a draft into her leg.