A Walking Heart

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
Elizabeth Stone

I first read this quote when I was in art school and looking for inspiration for a sculpture project. Although I didn’t yet have children, it resonated deeply with me. My mom and I were always really close when I was growing up, and I know when my siblings and I went away to college, it was really hard on her. (Truth be told, it was hard on me, too!) My mom said until you are a parent you never know such love or worry, and now I know just how true that it is. And Elizabeth Stone was spot on with this quote; my heart surely is  walking around outside of me, now that I am a mom.

Baby

I thought of this quote again two nights ago as I made a cover for a cradle mattress. A good friend of ours’ son and his wife are expecting a baby and the friend is taking them the cradle that was her son’s when he was a baby (which was made by her brother– I love when furniture is so linked with family history). I was reminded of this quote as I sewed because our friend’s son lives in England now (his mom is here in the United States), and that is where this soon-to-be grandchild will live, too. I thought of my own little guy and how hard it would be to have my heart so far away, not to mention my heart’s heart (aka grandchild) so far away. So as I made this mattress cover for a baby who will live across the ocean, I wanted my friend to have some piece of her/him close to her, at least as much as I could do to help with that. And that’s when I took some of the left-over fabric from the cover and turned it into a little stuffed heart. I added hand embroidery and stitched it closed, all the time thinking now our friend could hold close to this fabric heart that is made from the same fabric the baby will sleep on every night. And perhaps that will make her heart seem not quite so far away.

embroidered heart

hand embroidered stuffed heart

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7 thoughts on “A Walking Heart

  1. Jennet, the cradle cover and heart are one of the loveliest and lovingest gifts I have ever gotten. The cradle has been a source of blessing ever since my brother (who has since passed away) made it for me, lifting me out of a low moment in my pregnancy. I think when you love anyone a piece of your heart is walking around outside your body. My extended family of womenfriends walks around with my heart too. The little embroidered heart will be a reminder of what precious friendships I have, as much as of my faraway grandbaby. Thank you. Love, Naomi

  2. Yeah Jennet. Thanks a lot for the tears. *sniff sniff* 😉

    What a lovely background story to such a sweet project. You are incredibly thoughtful!

    I love that quote too. So true.

  3. I have loved this quote since you first told it to me! It is so very true.
    A wonderful post and a great gift for your friend (the heart).

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