By hand- An overlooked joy of having a baby
There are so many wonderful things about having a baby (or two)- seeing Audrey open her eyes, the feel of Sofia’s soft breath on my cheek, listening to them as they sleep, watching them as they grow and change. It is difficult to put into words the powerful emotions you experience when you hold your baby- I am filled with an intense feeling of happiness and love and excitement. The possibilities that are contained within their tiny bodies make me feel awestruck when I contemplate their futures. What will they become, what will they do, who will they be? I want to simultaneously hold them tightly to my chest and lift them up into the sky so they can feel the air on their cheeks.
There are also the changes you see in yourself and others that make you feel so happy and lucky to have brought these babies into the world. Watching Tony with the girls has been a continuous joy to me since Audrey and Sofia arrived. It is also wonderful to see the girls cuddled in the arms of their grandparents, aunties, and many friends.
But one, often overlooked joy comes from something else- something that is becoming less common as more demands are placed on the finite number of hours we all have to accomplish our daily tasks. It is something that I can barely claim to participate in. It is the joy of handmade, heirloom gifts. We have been so fortunate to receive lovely gifts from friends and family members, but the best gifts have been in the form of things made by hand whether gorgeous quilted receiving blankets, downy soft cable-knit blankies, or exquisite booties and hats. We have been lucky to have a number of people take the time to make these splendid keepsakes.
Several years ago, I knitted a pink receiving blanket for a friend who’s baby turned out to be blue. I think the dog may have gotten the blanket. But the satisfaction of making it remained with me. I had dreams of making blankets for the girls (since my knitting skills are rudimentary), but once I was put on bedrest it was difficult to sit up and then I got carpal tunnel in my hands and doing all those repetitive knits and purls was out of the question.
So, this post is a thank you- not only to be the people who have taken the time to make gorgeous gifts for our girls, but also to all the people who have ever taken the time to make gifts for babies. Rarely are gifts made for plain ol’ birthdays- kids want IPods or Xboxes and adults want gift cards or something that can be ordered online. Time is also the enemy of the handmade gift- it can take anywhere from a few to several dozen hours to makes some of these gifts. Most of us barely have time to clean house or walk the dog- much less select and make a handmade item.
I will be cherishing and using the blankets, hats, and booties that have been made for the girls and hopefully they can learn to knit or sew (even a little), so that they can also participate in this wonderful custom when they are older. Maybe I’ll learn to sew with them.
So, thank you to the friends and family who took the time to plan and make gifts for the girls. We love and appreciate every stitch, knit, and purl!