There are good moms who carry the huge purses filled with wipes, markers, crafts, snacks to feed a village, and Kleenex. I’ll never be one of them. If my kids sneeze, they’re on their own, because I love a clutch.
I’m all about traveling light. In my fabulous single days I carried purses so tiny that that matrons everywhere would exclaim, “How do you fit anything into a purse that small?!” But all I really needed was my ID, a lipstick, and a credit card—my fabulous single days mercifully happened before the age of the smart phone.
When I married and became a mother, I did have a diaper bag—but I still carried a clutch in the diaper bag for my essentials. Like all good and stylish girls living in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood in the mid-2000s, I got both my diaper bag and my clutch from the Lill store on Armitage, where you could get creative customizing fabrics and linings for each bag. I still remember the clutch. It was blue and brown flocked velvet, with a rust-colored satiny ribbon that was ruched down the middle. As I figured out the whole mom thing, that little clutch symbolized a preserved sense of self.
It seems like absolutely no time has passed since I went to the Lill store and chose the clutch and the accompanying practical diaper bag, and yet now the baby for whom I carried those diapers is a sassy tween who likes to shop herself. Yesterday she spotted the prettiest little beaded clutch in Anthropologie. Of course I bought it as an early birthday present to myself. When someone you have raised from infancy sees some aspect of you, some quirk, and recognizes it and supports it, you acknowledge that beautiful gesture by buying the clutch. It’s simply the circle of life.