Unexpected Gifts

I have more Thoughts about self-care and mothering and time and consumption, but they aren’t resolving themselves into an essay just yet. So instead I’ll share with you something much more reliably lovely: the sweet surprises I’ve received in the mail since baby D arrived.

Mairi (of the BC chapter of the Wool n’ Spinning community) sent a most darling care package for the whole family. I didn’t get a picture of the whole thing together because we were all so excited that it was immediately distributed. There were books for the big girls:

Chocolate, candy, a bookmark, cards…

And some really lovely herbal teas which I’ve hidden away to sample in a more leisurely fashion. It was just the kindest thing.

Into this package, Katrina slipped one of her beautiful baby hats.

I’m saving it for Ds one month birthday, so hopefully you’ll see this again. Isn’t it just darling? I think it’s one of those aviator style hats like the one I made for N last year, and I’m such a sucker for embroidered garnishing of handknits.

Then Rachel blew me away with this complete surprise:

This is a Turtlemade Turkish spindle. She knows I’m wanting to play with spindle spinning over our summer vacation, and I’ve never tried this kind. They’re ridiculously light and portable, and I hear such good things about them. I am excited to start playing with it and experience what makes them special. I’ve already found this excellent video by The Abby Franquemont. I think that will suffice to get me going with it, since I have some (rather rusty) spindling experience. How fun, no?

And then… as I was typing this post… Jared came in and informed me there was another mysterious package with my name on it.

It was expected to an extent – Lori, an Instagram friend, had posted her Elizabeth Zimmermann book collection, and my gushing had led to a conversation in which she offered to mail me the one EZ book which I don’t have, and of which she had a duplicate: Knitting Around. But the package was obviously too tall for just a book.

I believe I produced an audible squee. The girls love matching, especially the ringleader N, so I can’t wait to see their faces. And a whole volume of EZs words to discover… I have most of the patterns in other forms, but her words! They are a treasure of wit and confidence.

What more can I say? Time fails me to discuss my Iqaluit friends who pulled together to mightily enhance our stash of cloth diapers, or Cathy from Instagram who sent me carded sunshine, or the elders who threw me a surprise birthday party AND a surprise baby shower, and I should really do a separate post just to show off the handmade gifts D has received.

Friendship and generosity always touches me so deeply because, to the weird little world of my brain, it comes as a surprise. I know what it’s like to go without friends for a very long stretch, and I have a difficult time reaching out to touch those I DO care about deeply. So when someone I have never met in person reaches out across the longitude and latitude of a VERY large country, to touch my life with a physical gift, an artifact, actual tangible proof that they care and were thinking about me… well, I’m a bit dumbstruck. It’s just pure gracious kindness. There’s no way I could ever pay it back. So I’ll try to give it forward.

Thank you, friends, for showing your caring. You are a gift. You make me want to be kinder.

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