I have been selected with fourteen other mamas to take part in Sakura Bloom's Sling Diaries. And so for the next six months will be capturing through the lens moments when I wear my babe against my heart. Did you see any of the previous Sling Diaries? So many heart-warming, beautiful images of mama and babe. It is an honour to take part this time round!
Wearing Reuben is an everyday ritual for us. Every soft pat and rock to sleep, every outing to the local shops, or markets, or neighbour's house, or walk, or trip on the Paris metro, to the doctor's, to the mother's group, to church... sometimes while cooking, or washing up, or writing a letter. to normandy and bruges, through old castle ruins and quaint shops, through field and over cobble street. Sometimes for hours, sometimes for minutes. When Reu was newborn, he would silently breastfeed, unbeknownst to the world around, he was well concealed by sling and shawl. Now he prefers to gaze out at the world, chatter and coo at passerbys, and fall asleep when tired.
I am often asked by perplexed onlookers, why? why carry him when you could use a pram? where is your pram? and I fumble over my french, I say things like he prefers it, its easy for us, its warm, its safe, and c'est bon. All are true. Do I feel the weight on my back and shoulders? Yes. Do I feel sore at times? Yes. And yet, for me, it is strengthening too. Sometimes its endurance, sometimes its pleasure, sometimes its monotonous, sometimes its exactly what we needed. C'est bon indeed.
The art of baby wearing in all its diversity, has intrigued and delighted me, long before I became a mama. For you those of you who have read Laura Ingalls Wilder's book Little House On The Prairie, you might recall the moment at the end of the book when Laura watches a tribe of Indian peoples walk past and she spies a bundled up baby in a papoose, and resolves she must have that dark-eyed babe. Well, I feel quite the same, passionate desire when I see a little baby all bundled up snug and warm and close to their kin.
More than ever when its my baby, against me.