PAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! I don’t know about you, but I am loving reading these sweet and sappy, love-filled and funny stories from moms all over the ‘net. Today is day number seven and we’ve got more warm-your-heart goodies that will have you yearning to snuggle up on the couch with those you love. (And for those of you across the US who are experiencing snow storms, there isn’t a better place to be!)

PAXbaby loves BWing art!

In a perfect world, everyone would wear their babies!  Slings, pouches, and carriers would be commonplace, and expected.  But sadly, we live in a society where babywearing is still considered to be odd, crunchy, or plain old bizarre.  I find myself grinning like a lunatic at other babywearing moms that I pass, but hopefully they are just as happy to see me & my baby too!  Sometimes it feels like a secret club, and I am so lucky to be part of it!

When I stumble across babywearing in unexpected places, I LOVE it!  In movies (Star Wars Attack of the Clones), in books, in vintage family photographs, but my very favorite find is babywearing art!  The ALWAYS peaceful expression on the mothers’ faces reminds me of what I want to look like while wearing my baby!  Serene, relaxed, and enjoying the nurturing moment!  If this were a perfect world, my house would be full of babywearing art to remind me to savor the moment and enjoy the peace!

An early American Illustration showing a family on their way to church. Notice the baby in the sling!
This is Happy Family from Picture Lessons Illustrating Moral Truth (a childrens’ primer). Circa 1850.

Kee Fung Ng is a Chinese artist who escaped red China to San Francisco. His most cherished paintings depict children. This one of a child wearing a baby in a traditional meh dai carrier is circa 1970.

art-wrap-jean-charlot art-sling-jean-charlot
French artist Jean Charlot (1898-1979) created beautiful illustrations with Mexican and pre-Hispanic themes. It is said that his favorite subject was babies in slings!

Contemporary artist Erika Hastings used watercolor to create this sweet image of a baby being worn by her mother in what appears to be a Soft Structured Carrier.

Blair of Heir to Blair shares this sweet story…

When I was a mere 14 years old, still biting my lip over being an entire foot taller than the majority of my peers, my English teacher requested that we write an essay about “love” as a nod to the impending February 14th.

What is true love?

Pretty abstract for a group of high school freshman that liken “true love” to awkward fumbling in a backseat, right?  I was stumped.  I had never kissed a boy, or held hands in a dark movie theatre.  I had never slow-danced.  Or found a note tucked into my locker between classes.  & the more I thought about the subject, the more I despaired over being the only 14-year-old in the entire universe that had not locked lips.  (obviously, my flair for the dramatic has come honestly by decades of careful practice.)  I believe I tapped out something self-righteously angry about how love could not be boxed in, could not be defined, & how this was pretty much the worst essay, like, EVER.

I got my first C- on that paper.

Fast forward 12 years again to the topic of love.  With a little more maturity, I can attempt to define love – my husband, who kisses the back of my neck every night before we fall asleep.  My son, who has my smile.  My friends that brought me pink slippers & bottles of liquor when I lost my first baby.  My dog, curling up at my feet every night in loyal companionship.   Snow & chocolate chip cookies.  My Moby wrap, the Twilight saga, perfectly ironed table linens, & the smell of Christmas.  & today, despite every single one of the things listed above (minus the Christmas smell since it is January, after all), the greatest definition & example of love are these:

Tissue paper pom-poms.

Over a month ago, I came up with the brilliant idea of throwing The Momma (aka my mother) a birthday brunch at the end of January.  Despite the fact that I have an infant son & returned to my full-time office job only three weeks ago, I saddled up the troops & forged ahead.  Ten of her closest girlfriends at my house, celebrating a woman we love.  & although she insisted that I throw a few eggs & a pre-made coffee cake on a plate, I wanted to really do this right.  Let’s be clear that I am NOT Martha Stewart.  I struggle mightily to take thoughts into action, but I felt determined to whip every piece of linen, tissue, & Southern Charm I owned to exemplify this amazing woman.  Decorations, food, & friends to reflect her own beauty, class, & grace.  Invitations were mailed on linen paper, with every single invite RSVP’ing in the positive.  A miracle!  I spent every free waking moment (& trust me, I don’t have many of those!) making & fluffing poms, polishing silver, washing crystal until it sparkled.  All with a joyful heart, knowing it was for a woman I love.

& then the unthinkable happened:

No, really.  It’s unthinkable.  We live in North Carolina, where the chances of snow are about as good as K. Stew ever giving a gracious interview.  So despite the forecast, I plugged on without rest, dipping truffles & strawberries, ironing pink tablecloths, & gluing butterflies to every surface imaginable.  & when I woke up this morning to multiple inches of snow with more pounding down, I sat at the dining room table & cried.  Not for my own hard work, but because I had been dreaming of this day for a month, when I could show my mother & all of her girlfriends just how much I love her.  It may have been pink tissue paper to everyone else, but to me, those tissues represented years of IOU “thank you’s” & “I love you’s.”  With a heavy heart, I called each guest to cancel & reschedule.

Because for the first time in my life, I truly understand love.  A love that is unconditional, unrelenting, & soul-consuming.  The sacrifices, selflessness, & loyalty that comes with being a mother.  I know that The Momma spent her entire life showing & teaching me how to love that deeply — did I ever truly appreciate it?  Or did it take becoming a mother myself to fully understand the extent of her heart?

Momma, I get it now.  & I cannot wait to show you for the rest of my life that I finally understand.  Even if it’s through fluffing tissuepaper at midnight on a Friday.

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