I was folding clothes the other day and Lilina came into the bedroom needing some underwear. I knew she was outgrowing the ones she had, so I pulled from the clean pile some of Rose’s underwear that were small on Rose and handed them to the 3-year-old.
Poor Lilina started protesting as I was pulling them on her. “But Momma, Rose’s underwear are too big for me.” (They were sixes that had shrunk so they weren’t as big as you might think. They were roomy but not falling off of her.)
But her protests made me wonder: Should I be passing down underwear even if I pass down everything else? Does the child deserve at least the dignity of having her own underwear?
My mother claims that to this day my dad is very possessive of his underwear because growing up all six brothers shared an underwear drawer. If you got up late or showered late, you ended up with the worst in the drawer. I have no idea if this is true or not but I hope I’m not creating some condition that my children will later discuss with a therapist by passing down clothes especially underwear.
It doesn’t seem right to throw away perfectly good clean underwear once a child grows out of if it though. But would I want to wear someone else’s undies?
My mother saved almost every article of clothing I have ever worn and all three of my children have worn hand-me-down nightgowns, robes, shorts and tops from me and even my brother. (Walsh and Lilina both wore an awesome Charlie’s Angels T-shirt that was my brother’s.)
Walsh wore Rose’s training underwear and Lilina wore all the same pairs. I saved all of Rose’s underwear and gave away Walsh’s to charity.
Walsh wore some of Rose’s stuff if it wasn’t too girly. And Lilina has worn 90 percent of Rose’s old clothes and even some of her brother’s stuff. She’s adorable in his old Georgia jerseys.
So what do you think: Is it OK to pass down clothes in general? Should underwear or bathing suits fall into a different category? Is that OK or does each child deserve their own undies?