Saturday, June 12, 2010

Special gifts

It's hard as parents to balance the urge to give your child everything they desire and the ambition to raise a child who, rather than being materialistic, values what they have. We are fortunate in having family and friends who respect this and on occasions such as his birthday, generally give him wonderful, generous gifts that nonetheless have integrity and value- for example wooden toys that require imagination rather than plastic with flashing lights, bells and whistles which soon end up abandoned or run out of batteries. He also gets more than his fair share of handmade things- and not just from his crafting mother! I've mentioned his baby blanket and quilt before, but I could also have talked about the beanbag he napped on as a baby, top knitted by one Grandmother, fabric case sewn by the the other. Or I could show you the special 'wake up' bag made to hang on his cot, with pockets to hold toys and books to keep in entertained when he wakes in the morning (and give Mummy a little bit of a lie in). Or I could fill several photos with all the handknits from his two great-grandmothers that have warmed him from the very start...
Today, though, I thought I'd share two of his birthday presents. The first, being enjoyed by the boy and his Daddy, was volume one and two in a series of very special books put together by his Granny (my MIL). She's the one who lives on a farm. She's managed to find a place that will properly print and bind books and the first book she's had made is called 'Lambing on Grandpa's farm'. It's filled with photos of the sheep and lambs that have become a big part of her life (she runs the special care unit for orphan lambs these days!) and explains how the whole lambing process runs. The second is all about the birds that live around the farm and is equally lovely. He already loves having the books read to him so imagine how he'll feel when he's old enough to appreciate that they were written and made just for him.
The other present I wanted to share is the playmat. Perhaps even more impressive for being made by my friend who had her second baby only six weeks ago (remember the 'Big Sister' t-shirt), yet still managed to sew this in time for our boy's special day. It's not that you can't buy a playmat like this in the shops, it's the fact that this has care and imagination and love stitched into it, giving it a warmth that goes beyond the fact it's made from fabric instead of plastic. He's a lucky boy.

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