I took all the kids out after lunch today to run errands. We made it to the post office before my almost 3 year old took the hand of my almost 10 year old in the back seat of the car & fell asleep. This is a heart exploding moment as it is.
We decided to go ahead to our next stop. I brought out my trusty sling. And then it hit me – this sling is 10 years old. It has carried my oldest as a toddler & my next 2 babies since they were newborns until they were well into toddlerhood. It has seen so much work in so many countries in so many different kinds of weather. I’ve breastfed and fed cookies (fishing crumbs out of my bra every step of the way) & had a snack for momma too. So many hours of sleeping babies in this sling. I’ve had prenatal & postnatal appointments with clients, teaching breastfeeding, babywearing & cloth diapering classes in this sling. Playdates, parties, shopping, cooking, baking, laundry, moving, packing & unpacking, pta meetings, volunteering in the classroom, support groups, vacations & walks, many many many walks. The list is endless.
I bought 2 crappy, really crappy box store excuses for babywearing devices when my oldest was born. Such a waste of money, frustration, time and fabric. But I knew there had to be something better out there. She was a baby you just couldn’t put down. I knew babywearing worked but I had tried to save money & cut corners in the wrong way. These didn’t work for us. I could have easily made my own sling but wasn’t confident enough until much later.
When I was pregnant with my 2nd baby I found the right people to talk to and the right place to look at what I call a real sling. And so, I bought my sling, my Maya Wrap. It has been, & always be, my go to. So easy to slip on, slide a baby in & just keep on going. The learning curve was minimal & within days of my 2nd baby being born I felt like an old pro. And I wore him for 3 1/2 years. The last time I remember wearing him was when we were in Rome. He was sick & we had a tour of the Vatican scheduled. We decided to try it & I would go back to the hotel if things deteriorated. My trusty Maya Wrap was at the bottom of my backpack. He decided he needed to hap as his fever ramped up again. At 3 1/2 & a good 35 lbs or so he curled up on my chest, the sling came out & he slept through the entire tour. I don’t remember how many hours it was, but it was quite a few. He woke up, his fever broke & we continued on the day.
Today, as baby #3 snoozed away while we shopped for school supplies I kissed her little head in the same place it’s been for the last almost 3 years, just below my chin. Right where all babies should be – close enough to kiss. I realize these times are fleeting & I don’t know how many more there will be, but I will cherish every single one of them. I’m so grateful that I didn’t give up on babywearing. It’s made my life so much easier, and so much easier for my children to be where they wanted to be, where they needed to be.
I’ve expanded my babywearing library to other wraps, slings, pouches & soft-structured carriers, and I love them all for different reasons. But my hand always goes back to this sling. There’s not a thread popped & it’s soft with years of use. Sure it’s a just a tad bit faded, but I know this, when I am blessed with grandbabies, this will be the first thing I pull out to snuggle the next generation of our family. Soft, warm, fuzzy little heads resting under my chin.