a late response to Living More with Less and the chapter called “Nurturing People.” thanks again to Mrs. Pivec for keeping the conversation going. even when i’m not writing here, her words are on my mind and that’s a nice thing.

this chapter reminded me of two seemingly small decisions that we made early on in our life as Mabel’s parents. not big philosophical choices, not hard choices. quiet choices that have made such a difference.

we chose not to get the popular baby carseat that snaps out and becomes a carrier. mostly it was an aesthetic decision–people look so silly all bent over to balance the weight of the poorly designed carrier. but that meant when we were out, we had to hold Mabel. there was no place to put her. we couldn’t put her down and get on with dinner or whatever else was calling for our attention. we had to make space for her too. we had to keep her in mind. we had to care for her. so we held her in our arms or she slept snuggled in a sling. and just being mindful of her and her needs, her rightful place in our family life, opened me up. from the beginning she wasn’t an intrusion on my better plans. she was a part of us.

the other choice was to not use a pacifier. partly because i was breastfeeding and wanted her to breast as often as possible in the early days to establish my milk supply. but again, pacifiers just look silly. then we read something about babies finding comfort through nursing or sucking on a little finger instead of a pacifier, in part because we want our children to find comfort in people, not things. and that resounded so deeply with me. it was a way to hold a larger intention for the kind of person i want to be, the kind of child i want to raise in this world, in the midst of my mundane life with a small baby. it reminded me of what was important.

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