Saturday, February 19

Baby Blessings

There is something about the St. Mary's post-grad community that calls forth babies.   I'm sure it is a combination of reasons - time of life, free health care (nationalized health care is a wonderful thing - despite what some will have you believe), very few jobs (or at least few meaningful jobs) for those of us who's husbands are working through a PhD...  But, whatever the reason, there are a lot of babies around here.  I'm pretty sure I've helped to plan showers for a couple handfuls of babies in the past two-and-a-half years (not to mention the ones I've attended and not planned - which is as many again).  And, I'm sure there are plenty more to come - out of nine women at book club last month five were pregnant.  

I've been introduced to the idea of a blessingway since we've been here and it is lovely.  A time focused not on baby gifts and gadgets, but on blessing the mother and her babe.  I've been part of a couple blessingways with henna and blessing stories, which I would call blessingways in a traditional sense and they are lovely.  But most have altered from that formula to some degree, but all maintain the idea of blessing.  The shower for Rowan was just a couple intimate friends, a time of prayer, and a godly play/liturgy about our family's story in God's big story a dear friend wrote for me (it is beautiful, and now something we share as a family).  Others look more like a traditional shower, but with a blessing book and/or time of prayer added.

And with so many showers to attend I've been introduced to so many wonderful ideas - a used baby clothes clothesline, prayer books, mothering stories with beads made to remind the mother of the elements of motherhood from the stories, henna...  All creative ways to bless, not focused on consuming, but on giving a time for the community to welcome a new baby and share in the mother's journey.  

Last weekend some friends put together a shower for a sweet friend and her new babe, who is so precious and so welcomed by all of us.  And for the shower I decided that I wanted to try something new as a blessing.  A birthday banner.

At the shower I gave each woman a triangle for the banner.  I had sewed one print (from my stash) and one plain triangle (repurposed sheets - green and blue) together for each one and slipped in a piece of card (cut from junk mail and old envelopes).  The instructions for the women were simple - write or draw something on the triangle to bless the baby on his birthdays to come.  I had fabric markers and sharpies available.

After the shower I slipped the card out, organized the triangles to alter the colors and prints and sewed the triangles in a piece of double fold bias tape.  The result was a reusable birthday banner to bless the wee babe, not just now, but each year he grows.  A friend mentioned that this would be a fun thing to do with babies clothes that are special when they outgrew them; family could write blessings if you want - a sweet idea.


(I wish I had taken photos from both sides because the back of each of these prints has a message on it too, but you can get the idea)


Anna M Blanch said...

this is such a wonderful idea! and great photos too!

EricaG said...

I've been reading about "blessingways" for awhile. Now I just need someone to bless! None of my close friends are expecting (yet).

Watkins said...

Erica, I wish you were around. I'd love to help put together a blessingway for you and your coming babe!

Lisa said...

I am proudly displaying Samuel's banner on our family room window. I feel BLESSED every time I look at it as I remember dear friends who made it.