While we were wondering what kind of world our baby will grow up in, a delivery came – a piece of the past had found its way to our doorstep (actually our genkan, but never mind…). A few weeks ago I tried to send a postcard to Sweden – these days that is not possible, and apparently it is not possible to send a normal package from Sweden to Japan – my parents had to use an express DHL delivery to be able to send their baby gifts at all.
Both me and my wife were very excited, and carefully opening the package we could see beautifully wrapped gifts (some of which, we soon discovered, had already been cut open by the customs much to our displeasure). It turns out my mother must have spent the entire Corona-avoiding-other-people-time in Sweden knitting for our baby. One beautiful blue baby cardigan, a bigger orange sweater for cold autumn days and a big cream coloured baby blanket; it felt very precious to receive these hand knitted clothes.
In another parcel we discovered some old baby clothes that my parents had saved from when I was a baby, and even a blanket that my dad used when he was newly born. Imagining our little son wearing the same clothes that I wore when I was his age gives me goose bumps (or bird skin as I like to call it in Japan). A little sleeveless jump suit with text saying LITEN MEN TUFF (by my way of translating meaning small but cool) – I believe I remember this piece from when I was little (and not just from seeing photos), and I think I really liked it. Maybe I just liked the colours, but maybe without properly understanding I fancied the idea of being a kid with a deeply felt sense of inner security (which is something I was longing for).
My past and my wife’s – there is comfort in knowing that where might come up short for our baby my wife will be strong, and I believe the opposite I also true. So I really hope we can help you our boy to reach an independence that is life affirming and grounded in kindness – now that is a happy image for a baby wearing my old sleeveless jumpsuit.
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