Paradisaea n:o 17 // The She Walks Like a Queen Collection
Warp: 100 % tencel, hand painted by Paradisaea
Weft: 100 % cotton (EC), hand painted by Paradisaea in shades of royal blue and bright fuchsia
Woven with a Maltese Twill variation (a fancy twill)
The Small Kid hates waking up. Fiercely, with all his little heart.
So, we follow a small routine of our own.
I pick him up from his crib, he shouts and wrestles me. I carry him to the living room sofa, we sit down. He shouts and wriggles. I let him lie on the sofa, he won’t let me touch him. He does some more crying. I stroke him, he pushes my hands away.
I wait. I try again - nope, he’s not there yet.
After a while I stroke him again, and this time he lets me do it.
I pick him up, hold him in my arms.
He doesn’t wriggle anymore, but rests his head on my chest.
We sit silently, and I stroke his back and his hair. This may take anything from 5 to 30 minutes. He listens to my touch and is slowly, slowly reconciled with the fact that he needs to be awake again.
Then, at some point, he is charged enough to get up, smile at me and go play.
Touch makes us human, they say.
The first ones to touch a baby (at least after the midwifes) are mothers and fathers. And there’s something amazingly special about that.
For a short while, when the kids are young, mom and dad fill pretty much their whole world. Mom and dad ARE the whole world. Children simply trust that if anything bad happens, mum and dad can fix it. When they hurt themselves they run to you, asking to be held, needing the immediate presence of someone who is all-powerful in their eyes.
Kids still possess the wisdom that says that the best place to be is near someone. They instinctively know that being held heals, that being hugged helps, and that a loving touch often is all they need.
For a short while mothers - and fathers - have the ability to perform miracles. They heal wounds, they take pain away, make sorrow disappear and destroy anxieties. And usually this happens when mothers hold their children. The touch of a mother is miraculous - as vital as air and nutrition, studies say. Children do not grow to be whole, healthy persons if they are not touched. Touch makes us human - and mothers have a rare privilege in being the ones whose touch matters most.
Never again are people held as much as when they are infants. Maybe that’s why kids grave to be held so much - and come to ask for it often. Babies who simply refuse to sleep if they are not cuddled skin close with their mothers, toddlers who climb to sleep to daddy each night, school kids who nonchalantly come next to you on the sofa, wishing to be hugged.
Mothers make magic. Mothers, for a small while, have the power to heal. The fascinating thing is that the touch of a mother does not only heal pain in the body, but also pain in the mind. It makes kids whole, teaching them how loved they are, gifting them with a strong healthy sense of self, teaching them the boundaries of their personality, teaching self-esteem and the indisputable value they have.
It is, of course, not easy. And sometimes all kids just do not have that. But at the same time it’s an amazing possibility for all us mothers, a real superpower.
Studies show that newborns who have been held a lot sleep better and cry less. Scientists also believe that touch and skin-to-skin contact boosts the brain development of infants.
It seems that nature just has meant mothers and babies to be close to each other. Believe it or not, but there are studies that show that straight after giving birth, the chest area of a mother is some degrees warmer than the rest of her body, creating a natural warming platform for the newborn baby. Mothers also can instinctively adjust their body temperatures: if the baby’s body cools down, mother’s body warms up and vice versa.
The touch of a mother heals.
But the touch of a child
also heals the mother.
While weaving I thought about how it feels to sleep with a small baby; what their gentle breathing next to you sounds like, how the warmth of their little bodies almost hurts your heart. I thought about how it feels to have a three year old take your hand when you’re on a walk, and squeeze it tight. Or how it feels when the said three year old learns to give kisses and won’t let you go before they’ve kissed you wet.
Touch heals the parent too. It reminds us of what really matters. Their hand in yours, their cheek on your chest, their sleepy warmth next to you. Touch diminishes the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, releasing oxytocin. Touch heals us.
At some point kids grow up and walk into their own lives. They find out that life hurts, and mom cannot be there anymore every day to kiss the pain away. That’s what growing up is like. And still mothers possess the same power to build their children up, to strengthen them with their words, believing in their children, supporting, cheerleading them, and yes, hugging when they can.
Moms are life givers. And remain so. They have the power to gift self-esteem, trough touch and words. Mothers are healers - or have the possibility for it. It’s not easy, sometimes we’ve lacked that badly ourselves and have hard time figuring it out, but it remains a stunning opportunity troughout our lives.
From these thoughts I found the name for this wrap, The Healer - a story of us all made more whole trough touch, a celebration of babywearing as a healing experience.