A Strip of Fabric

Dear Children,

I have the brown and white Mei Tai that the eldest of you rode in as a baby. I have the brown stretchy gauze fabric that Alexander-in-the-middle spend his earliest months in. And I have the white stretchy thermal fabric with the black hearts and skulls that Kneeker-bee is snuggled up in now, napping and which she has nearly outgrown.

Each of these will be rolled up and placed with all the mementos that I have of your infancy and your childhood.

One day when you’re grown we’ll sit down and go through them together. A tiny newborn diaper that dwarfed you when you were new and that will barely cover your palm. The piece of plastic that clamped your cord. A whisp of your impossibly soft baby hair. The first shirt you ever wore. A hat that will fit tightly over your fist as an adult.

And a piece of cloth.

“What’s that?” I can imagine you asking. “Is that my baby blanket?”, so embedded in our culture is it to save a blanket as one of our memories.

I’ll smile. “No, that is not a blanket that I covered you with when I put you down. That is what held us near. That is the cocoon that you spent your earliest months in. The fabric that stretched around you as you grew until it could no longer hold you. Then you toddled off, and I folded up this fabric to give you to one day.”

My eyes will mist up as they mist up now as I write this. And you will think me a sentimental old fool. As well you should.

Then one day you will have children of your own and I’ll gift you a piece of simple cloth, 6 yards long with unfinished edges. And you’ll understand.

It’s a piece of fabric, this thing that holds us near. Simple woven cloth, in those early days when we do not yet know each other well. Our hearts beat together, I learn your rhythms and you learn mine. You grow and your arms pop out the top to grab at my face as I kiss you and dance around and whisper to you a thousand times a day that I love you always. Always.

Yes. It’s a piece of cloth. It is the fabric of our earliest days together. The stitches that held us close. The pattern of my earliest memories of you. And it is dear to me.

As you read this one day you will be older and there will be no fabric holding us together as there was in the early days. Instead I hope that we will be held close through the years by a fabric of a different kind. Again each of you will have a fabric of your own with its own texture and its own colors and its own memories unique between us.

I keep this cloth as a constant reminder as you grow to hold you near and close to my heart. You were not always pleasant as an infant, sometimes you shrieked in my ear as you tried to fall asleep. Not every moment that I held you was blissful, sometimes you rode along as I was exhausted, touched out, stressed out, and in pain. Not every moment of your childhood will be beautiful. Not every moment of our lives will be peaceful and content. We may not always be close and connected, and there will be many times that you will not have the time for me.

But as I held you as a baby, I will hold you any time you need me. We are held together by something permanent. We are family. And family is unconditional.

I love you fiercely. Each and every one of you.

<3 Mama

3 thoughts on “A Strip of Fabric

  1. As I read this beautiful letter to your children I stare down at my 4 week old son with tears in my eyes. Your writing is so beautiful and also very helpful. I wish I could wear my baby,I have tried a sling I was given and he isn’t to keen on the idea. I try almost every day with hopes he will get used to it.

    I just found your blog tonight and read what you wrote about breast feeding. I’m so happy to find out that I am pretty sure I’m doing things right. My boobs have not always had the feeling of engorgement and therefore I thought he wasn’t getting enough. Well I should listen to myself and know that he has many wet/poopy diapers and has been gaining steadily on my breast milk alone. Thank you for all your positivity and knowledge, I’m glad I have them to refer to as a FTM.

    1. Lisa,

      Thank you for leaving your comment. :) Enjoy your little one! Make sure you read up on the six week growth spurt, as that’s when most first time moms question themselves the most. :)

      When you say your son isn’t too keen on the idea of the sling.. Have you tried other positions? Different babies like to be carried differently. Mine always liked being upright, chest to chest with their legs free. (Just make sure you know how to use a sling safely, as the legs-free positions are easier to accidentally do in an unsafe way.)


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