The green fabric in the picture above is from my first baby sling. Its a piece of fabric that held all four of my four sweet children as infants close to my chest, where our beating hearts thumped along together. It is where my first was held close as I walked around the block with both the pride and self consciousness of a new mother. I can remember bringing Miles to a park with Lee, when he was just weeks old, lying the sling down to let him sleep in the grass, hoping for a relaxing time doing what I believed parents to do (hang out at playgrounds). He let out a single newborn mew, a mere hint of a cry, and we both got so nervous we all but ran back to our car giggling nervous giggles all the way. When Rowan was born I clearly recall pacing around our neighborhood sidewalk, wandering after Miles trying to soothe this always crying baby. I remember holding him tight in the sling when the pediatricians told me he was underweight and feeling the air get sucked out of me when they insisted I try to give him formula. I did try. He wouldn’t take a bottle, and then that sling was more than a piece of fabric. It was a saving grace, I kept him in tucked in there day and night nursing him, letting my tears fall on his thin baby face, hoping and praying I could just make more milk. And you know, it worked. I once left that sling on a playground somewhere in upstate New York. A kind soul from a restaurant near by retrieved it and held onto it until our return trip, when I could gratefully slide it back over my shoulder. When Jasper was born, I slid him into place behind this now wearing thing piece of green cotton, and we marched through the woods singing, “Hey, hey Jasper Ray, down in the valley-oh! Hey, hey Jasper Ray lookin’ for the chanterelles you know!” This song will likely make us millions I am quite sure of it. And come to think of it, I still am yet to find a chanterelle. Hmm…. And then Willow came along and she spent some time in there, here and there, but she was a ring sling girl mostly and my memories of her as a newborn are mostly in other carriers. But, needless to say they all were there. This piece of fabric clearly needed to continue on. It felt so right to weave it into this egg basket. To have in memorialized underneath pomegranetes and seasonal gourds. To have it tote a handful of acorns or crayons. To let it do its job a little while longer.
My oldest fries me eggs in the morning and is far too big for me to carry. Even our little baby girl is running amok with these wildling boys now. The days are long, the years are short. I reminded of this daily.