There are few daily rituals I love more than holding this babe of mine in a sling. That and my morning coffee, and I’m usually a pretty happy camper. The deliciousness of his little body snugly against mine, and right there on my left hip where he’s got a great view of all that is happening, including all that I’m able to do with my very free two hands. He’s so happy in the sling — it calms him, it includes him, it keeps him close and learning all the time, and it lets him know I’m available — all the things that are most important to me as a mom. I hope he’ll continue to pull the sling off its hook and bring it over to me for a little “sling time” several times a day for a good long while still. It’s a truly cherished routine for both of us that I know someday, all too soon, we’ll outgrow. And I know with that out-growing, my ability to communicate all of what feels like real loving during our sling time might become a little more complex. Knowing this “sling time” will morph into something else soon enough has me cherishing it all the more.
Everyone asks me if I made my sling. I didn’t, but I wish I had because I think I’ve tallied around 30+ customers I’ve sent the way of Sweet Pea Ring Slings – she’s a richer woman with my endorsement, and she deserves it. She makes a good sling, that woman — and gorgeous too.
Not too long ago I received a most delectable package in the mail from my mom — a hand-picked assortment of some of my favorite books and toys from when I was a little girl. Oh! The joy of sorting through those worn and torn favorite books — Tikki Tikki Tembo, Corduroy, and the very funny and very therapeutic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day –oft requested by both and my brother and me. Also included in the package was my own personal Velveteen Rabbit — a baby doll who had been extremely well-loved by me — her eyes still open and close now but she’s a bit scratched up, she’s losing some of her stuffing, and there isn’t much left to decipher of the expression on her face. I love having her around.
And so does Orlis. He does like that baby doll. Seeing it deepens my belief in the power that certain objects hold — something so well loved (even 30+ years ago) is more compelling to him than any new doll would be and I do believe it’s because this old, tattered baby doll holds a lot of love energy in her tiny, fraying frame. Family relics are amazing and I’m so lucky my own mama saved her.
There’s a wonderful little boutique not too far from me in Portland called Milagros that sells the kind of baby gear I like — the stuff that brings you closer together. As luck would have it — they sell baby doll slings! And, they are made by a local Portland mom. I snatched up one of the cutest designs and brought it home to try out on Orlis and Baby Girl.
And indeed, “sling time” is taking on a whole new meaning at our house. We’ve got Baby Girl to comfort and kiss. We’ve got block towers to build and squirrels to watch and dancing to do and dinner to make — all while we hold Baby Girl on our hip and enjoy the legacy of real loving. Ah, sling time. It’s the best.