Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blessing Way

About three-and-a-half years ago a group of women gathered to give me one of the biggest blessings I have ever received literally and figuratively.  I was very pregnant with my oldest son and these caring, loving women gathered around me for a Blessing Way.  A Blessing Way is like a baby shower without rolls of wrapping paper, bows, and gifts.  

I write this because my dear cousin is going to give birth any day.  As I anxiously await the event, I think back on this time in my own life before the birth of my first child and that blessing way is one of my fondest memories.

It was a green event before my days of eco-activism.   Instead of more stuff, one of the women gave me a foot rub while another brushed my hair gently.  They each shared with me pearls of wisdom from years of different experiences.  They allowed me to write and read a letter to my precious cargo.   Then they each gave me a token of significance.  These were collected on a yarn and taken with me to both of my birth experiences as symbols of feminine strength and encouragement. 

I know we have a couple pregnant readers and I know that this idea isn't for everyone.  But maybe the idea of welcoming children into the world without mass consumerism is something we should consider.  Don't get me wrong, I know we need stuff for our kids, but maybe we can reframe our thoughts on that stuff.  

What about a Craigslist/Ebay/Freecycle baby shower?  A handmade shower?  What about an organic shower?  What about a minimalist shower?  Those of us "experienced" mothers must know oodles of stuff we got and didn't exactly need right?  Mine was blankets.  I am still donating blankets.  What ways have you used to reduce new baby stuff overload?  Do you have any great green baby experiences?


annie kelleher said...

these are wonderful ideas. when my oldest was born lo these many many moons ago, i was radical enough to insist on a drugfree delivery in an out of hospital birthing center. a blessingway would've been a marvelous experience... when my daughter was pregnant with my grandson, i was surprised how all of a sudden i got very Wise in her eyes again...

Eva said...

how lucky you are!

we don't have baby showers here, and for this i am glad. anyway, things grandparents shower us with everyday are making me uncomfortable. for one thing, i am never able to choose a toy for my children, and what is more, we dont need all thet stuff, or even we need to have less. so i give lots of toys to kindergarten.

another memory... for our wedding we didn't want a mountain of gifts, so when we invited people, we didn't tell them we were getting married. they were in for a big surprise! and we were really able to enjoy ourselves without the burden of stuff we didn't need.

Eva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eva said...

sorry for the deleted comment. i almost forgot to say congratulations and good luck to your cousin! i hope the delivery is safe and swift!

Emilie said...

that's beautiful :)

having gotten rid of all my baby "stuff" before we moved, i realized how little you actually NEED for a baby when Matthew came along :)

Condo Blues said...

This reminds me of a bridal custom. Instead of having the bridal shower of stuff in India, the brides female friends and family gather and paint henna designs on the bride to be, including the groom's name hidden somewhere in the designs. While they henna her, they give her tips for a happy marriage and wedding night.

Henna may not be good for a mom to be, but I like the tradition of giving tips than stuff, especially if it's a second child.

Meg said...

Willo this is a wonderful idea! Thanks for the dedication, and I'll be sure to let you know when the big moment arrives! Love you!

Willo said...

Annie-I was able to have my second with no pain meds and it was a miraculous experience.

Eva-wow! No baby showers, I am pretty sure people can't even imagine that here. I think your wedding story is a great idea! And thanks! I will pass on the well wishes!

Emilie-It's amazing what you DON'T need isn't it?

Condo Blues-I felt like one of those Indian brides, being totally pampered in preparation of a sacred event.

Meg-I am waiting for the call! There are lots of people rooting for you and the Whiz!

Hermit on the Hill said...

Awww! I'm so glad to read this and know that it was as meaningful as it felt to me too — even in 98 degree heat without an air conditioner!

It WAS special. And, I'm so glad it carried you through TWO pregnancies.

Cherie rocks! ;-)

BTW — Thanks for becoming a "follower!"


CC said...

Wow! Great, great ideas. What a meaningful event!

Jen said...

Henna's ok for pregnant Moms - we did this for one of my friends for her first child this year, and henna'd her belly rather than the hands/feet etc. because who but the midwife was going to see? The only difficulty we had was keeping her comfortable while the henna dried - she had to sit/lean, of course for us to decorate her belly and after a while that was hard on her back. We should have had a spotter sitting behind her, but didn't think of that at the time.

Willo said...

Good to know Jen! Thanks for coming by!