Travelling around Europe this European Babywearing Week, I have found my mind wandering often to the myriad ways in which carrying connects.
There is of course the connection it deepens between me and my baby, the child I carried inside me for most of last year, imagining what he might look like, how he might sound, what personality would begin to emerge once he was born into the outside world.
It turns out he Is curious and gentle and headstrong and loving, with a wicked sense of humour that is already very evident at seven months old. His face lights up when I reach for the sling, and he is forever wriggling to get a better view. He has really found his voice lately, and babbles away as we walk together. Often he drifts off to sleep, and wakes to find us in yet another new place, staring up at me with his big blue eyes to double check that I am there and it is safe.
He loves to be carried by his dad too, who adores the connection it has created between them. There is something supremely grounding about holding your baby close, making the stresses of being on the road melt away. It is magical to watch them smiling at each other, father and son, and to feel their closeness grow.
Whichever one of us is wearing Orson, Arthur is never far away. He would like to carry him himself, but at five is not quite up to it yet. Still they chat and laugh and hold each others’ hands. Having the baby safe in the sling means we can focus more easily on connecting with his older brother, and we can all throw ourselves into our adventures, together.
And wherever we have gone, people have been entranced by Orson, smiling at them from his Integra. He has been met by laughter and kind words, giggling with strangers whilst we explore. It is wonderful I think that his experience of the world is one that is so open and so full of love, and whatever language people speak to him he understands their meaning and opens up to them too.
Whatever you have been up to this European Babywearing Week I hope you too have felt the connection that carrying brings – and that you will enjoy many of your own adventures together in the weeks and months to come.
Sophie is travelling in Europe for eight weeks with a VW campervan, two small children, and a collection of Integra baby carriers. You can read weekly updates about their babywearing adventures here, and find out more about what they’re up to over at Raising Revolutionaries