Baby May Yasmine came home from the hospital yesterday with her parents, Lauren and Anas.
As they were leaving the hospital, Lauren sent a text and picture of 2-day old May in her car seat to a message thread with about a dozen of David’s sisters and spouses, nieces and nephews. It read, “After much commotion getting her in the car seat, we are off! Fashion credits to Sharon.”
When I looked at the picture, I had 4 thoughts: May is adorable; the car seat straps are so wide that they almost entirely cover her tiny body; I hope the car air-conditioning is on, because she’s really bundled up; and Lauren crocheted a beautiful blanket…why is she giving fashion credit to Sharon?
Then David texted: “The traditional continues.”
I asked what he was talking about, the “traditional.”
He said “Oh, I meant “tradition,” and he left it at that. I assumed he was being profound and reflective, referring to his daughter bringing home her baby, just as he had brought Lauren home, 33 years ago.
Then Sam, Sharon’s eldest, added to the thread, saying she didn’t know about the tradition.
“What is the tradition???” I pressed David to know.
He said that Sharon knitted the outfit for Lauren, for when he and Lauren’s mom brought her home from the hospital. I thought how nice that Lauren had kept it all these years and is now able to pass it on to her own daughter.
That in itself would have been so special.
But then Sam wrote, “My memory is a little foggy from 31 years ago.”
I asked David why Sam was talking about 31 years ago and not 33, when Lauren was born.
Finally, he explained: Way back when, Sharon knitted the sweater and cap – a lovely outfit, by the way – that May sported in the picture. She had made it initially for Lauren, the first to be born in the extended Minches family, for her first trip home.
Sharon’s thinking went a step further: that the outfit would adorn all subsequent babies in their family – boy or girl – upon leaving the hospital, with the parents passing it along before the next child was born.
Sharon, David and Joanie produced 7 cousins among them, and all of them wore her handiwork.
What Sam didn’t realize 31 years ago was that she was already part of a very meaningful tradition that her mom initiated…and that would go on indefinitely.
I found it very fitting that Sharon, the eldest of 3 siblings, took on a matriarchal role very early on – in her 20s – by making an outfit for all 3 to utilize for their own children.
Interestingly, it is Lauren – the eldest of her cousins – whose daughter May is also leading off with the next generation of cousins.
After sitting idle for 23 years, this outfit is about to get busy.