These stories need space, too

My 13-month-old baby boy’s chest rises and falls, rhythmically against my back as he slumbers while his brother and I collect leaves under a gentle autumn afternoon sun.

It’s been a long day, and Baby E., who is teething has needed extra mommy-care since he woke in a grumpy mood. I’ve been holding him nearly all day, and he’s refused his normal naps and sleeping, leading us further down a path of grumpiness and crying jags.

His big brother, G., has waited as patiently as a 3 year old can wait for attention of his own.

“Look at this biiiiig red one, mommy!” he exclaims. “It’s perfect.”

I squat down next to G. and examine a large Maple leaf that had freshly tumbled from the branches.

“You’re right!” I proclaim. “It IS perfect.”

He plucks the leaf from the cement, puts it in his bag and off we continue down the sidewalk in search of more leaves for our tree project.

As Baby E. quietly snores on my back, G. and I converse about autumn and why we have seasons and how Illinois is so verrry, verrrry far from the equator, which tends to make Illinois verrry, verrry cold in the winter.

A lull in conversation allows my mind to wander as G. bounds down the sidewalk seeking more leaves.

I feel Baby E.’s soft breath and teething-induced drool making a little patch on back damp.

And I feel grateful — grateful that he’s so snug and relaxed pressed against my body even as we merge recklessly into toddlerhood.

I’m comforted by his comfort.

But the reality that grips my heart, sends it soaring into the soft blue sky comes when G. retreats from a pile of leaves, grasps three fingers on my right hand and says, “Mom, I love having leaf walks with you.”

His face is brimming with love.
nd I think to myself, so often we talk about the benefits of babywearing for the child being worn and the person wearing him or her.

But how often do we talk about the many moments babywearing affords the little bigger one who walks alongside of mom, who can easily slip his little hand into one of her free ones so they can walk together?

I love {big fat mushy, overflowing love} the compelling stories my friends shared with the Chicago Tribune reporter who came to interview our Lake County Babywearers members at our International Babywearing Week event — stories of how babywearing eased post-partum depression, helped dad reconnect with his daughter and allowed a working mom the ability to bond with her little man after a long day’s work.

Babywearing boasts such powerful benefits; the Tribune story powerfully highlighted those extraordinary stories.

And parents need to read those stories because they showcase how to be attached caregivers.

But I think the every day, seemingly simple stories of babywearing benefits need a space, too.

So while I know it’s not newsworthy that G. and I went for a walk and connected on a gorgeous fall day, I just wanted share it anyway.

Because sometimes it’s those simple moments that end up changing a really small but important part of the world. And a small but really important heart.

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