As the first born daughter, I was never subjected to hand-me-downs much. Oh sure, there may have been one or two things that I got from cousins or close neighbors but truthfully from what I can recall, I never had hand-me-downs. My sister – on the other hand – probably had lots and lots of things, that were once mine, given to her to wear or use or play with. What does this do to the person on the receiving end? Do they grow up thinking that they don’t deserve anything new? That all they *should* get are items used first by others? Yes, I understand that there at times when sharing clothes, shoes, and toys are absolutely necessary. But what if the situation isn’t dire? There’s money available to buy new things. Do you save the money and reuse the items or donate them and buy new for the next child? I won’t even get started on our “throw away” society, that will have to be a blog for another day.
I now have two girls. My first daughter never wore hand-me-downs (except for special occasion dresses that her cousins wore once!). For the most part I bought clothes for her constantly. Firstly, because she grew out of her clothes so quickly. Secondly, because I love shopping. And thirdly because girls clothes are SO dang CUTE! Well, here I go saving all the clothes, shoes, toys, and games for my second daughter. Call it frugalness or penny-pinching, I’m not really sure, maybe a desire not to be wasteful, but I saved almost every onesie, sleeper, pajama, shirt, pant, dress, shoe, and toy that could be salvaged.
Ok, so 2nd daughter – still being a toddler – has no idea that she is wearing or using things that were first worn or used by big sister. Frankly, at this stage anyway, I doubt whether she would care if she did know or understand. And I hate to say it but if it weren’t for clothes that other people have bought for her, she would still not have anything new. Is that fair?! I’m appalled at myself for this. Which leads me directly to a sad situation that I was discussing with a friend the other day about pictures.
With the first born child we are mad (and by this I mean almost insane) about taking pictures of every little thing they do. We have formal portraits taken of them, we have family portraits taken with them, we have school portraits taken, and so on including the gazillion rolls of film used to capture them ~frame by frame~ doing some silly little thing. But when its picture time for the second child, we rarely have the camera loaded with film, available on hand or even know where the thing is. I have tried, consciously tried, really really tried to take loads of pictures of my second little angel but, and this is where I get back to being appalled at myself, I have never had her portrait taken, she has never been in any family portrait, and now that its time for school portraits I’m looking at the different package options thinking, “what is the cheapest package I can get?”! Aaagh, I feel sick.
So, in order to make myself feel less sick, I resolve to schedule a sitting with a PROFESSIONAL photographer to take formal portraits of my second angel, buy her a couple new summer outfits (hey, no need to go overboard), and a toy that she picks out for herself! Will I get rid of the rest of the clothes I have stashed in bins in our attic? Heck no! But I will try to make sure she *knows* that she deserves new things too.
Thanks for listening (or reading if you must be technical),