Five years ago, when we moved back to the city from Pemberton, we accidentally bought a really expensive old house that tilted dangerously to one side and had black mould and a very creepy tenant in the basement.
Buying that house was a mistake that would take an entire book to explain, but suffice it to say, it was not the house for us. We didn’t last long before the for sale sign was back on the boulevard. But I digress.
On the day that we first moved in, we found a plastic shopping bag full of hand-me-downs left for us by the previous owners; a lovely family with two small kids. I don’t remember anything that was in that bag except for a pair of red velour pants.
Those pants were Esmé’s favourite pants. And then those pants became Hawk’s favourite pants. And because both of my children wore those pants so much, the pants have become dear to me too. Those pants are part of so many memories; so many firsts and falls and fun.
We went camping last week, and the pants got soaked when Hawk sat in a tidepool, and then really dirty when he kept wearing them as he dug a hole in the dirt beside the campsite. When he took the pants off, I noticed that the knees were threadbare and there were more than a couple of holes. And honestly, they are getting pretty small on Hawk these days.
It’s time to say farewell to the pants.
There’s a William Morris quote that lots of people lean on when simplifying and decluttering, two things which we’re really good at in our family: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
I was going to put the pants into the garbage right then, bear-proof bin and all. But I didn’t.
I shook the dirt off and hung them to dry beside the dish towels.
When they were dry, I tucked them in with the dirty laundry.
And then I washed them when we got home.
And then I held them in my hands, and folded them.
And then I got a bit teary.
I meant to put them in the garbage. They’re simply too worn to pass on. There’s literally no life left in them. My kids are at least the third- and fourth children to wear these pants.
But instead, I put them in the keepsake box. There’s not much in there; first outfits, knitted baby caps. Tiny slippers. Amber teething necklaces. And now the red velour pants.
They might not be useful, but they are beautiful.
Threadbare, full of holes, entirely too small … and utterly beautiful.