(photo by the Papa)
It seems that carrying my babies is something I like to write about. I hope you can handle one more today, because it's been on my mind lately.
There are times in the lives of my little ones where the sling (or whatever carrier I'm using - I call them all 'slings' for some reason), is on all the time. Where I walk around for sometimes hours with it on my body, without realizing it's even there. It becomes, in those times, an extention of my body, just as the little one who fills it becomes a part of me. Snuggled, nestled, and so close.
And then, there are times when I am much more aware of the carrier and the baby in it. When I know that the days of us being attached to each other with a piece of fabric are dwindling. This summer has been like that. It's so much more rare that she's on my back these days, that each time I am all the more mindful of the experience. I'm flooded with the thoughts of first making this one with much anticipation - before we even knew her; or the memories of wearing a very small version of her on my chest in those days when I barely took it off at all, where her tiny sleeping breath blended right next to my own heartbeat. And I think about how it has been this summer - the few times she asks for it - as part comfort and part novelty. It's trickier for me to manage these days, but when she asks and when I can manage to wrap it around my belly comfortably and happily oblige her - she still snuggles in and rides on Mama's back. Sometimes - like the day above just a few weeks ago - slipping into sleep on our walk, despite long ago giving up her naps. As if it being wrapped up in there takes her back in time, and her body knows just what to do. Rest.
I've wondered each time this summer as she climbs up my back and I wrap those ties up over my shoulders and around my waist once more - will this be it? Is this the last ride she'll have in that fabric, on my back? I hope there are just a few more yet to come. But if not, I hope when she sees a new little one snuggled up in here soon enough that she'll remember what it feels like, too. I hope she always remembers - in some part of her being - what this feels like.