Friday, July 30, 2010

Memorializing Memories

Do you e-bay your children's baby clothes?  My own children are great at purchasing darling tiny outfits on-line.  It is a thrifty idea for seller and buyer. But, I'd like to suggest that you save a few treasures from your baby's early days.

My precious memories are displayed in our stairwell.  The display has been dubbed "the shrine" by our son. ;) On one side of the window, shadow boxes display the newborn outfit each child wore coming home from the hospital. Opposite each is a charcoal sketch of the child. 
If you borrow any of these ideas, you can learn from my mistakes.  Here is what what I would do differently, if I were to do it again. 
With each Feltman Brothers outfit I displayed the cap, booties, or bonnet each child wore. To add some interest, I also had the framer include a rattle, a bracelet, and a spoon.  Unfortunately, over time, the metal discolored, even though I had them dipped in platinum before they were framed.  So, if you display clothing,  avoid trinkets which might tarnish.

On the other side of the window are the children's portraits in charcoal. If you are like we were, you never feel like you have money for portraits. But, children "grow up we learn to our sorrow", so save your change and have an artist capture your child's personality. They don't have to be oil paintings to be treasures. Our portraits are charcoals, and we had them done when we were "poor missionaries" in Haiti.

I will never forget the day, a Mother's Day. We were returning from Port-au-Prince to our home on the north coast of the island, when we stopped by a seaside restaurant. Just inside, we saw a display of charcoals. Maybe because of the significance of the day, we agreed to make the sacrifice. The artist chatted with each child, took Polaroid snapshots, and told us to come back in a few months.

We weren't disappointed when we saw the likenesses. The artist captured our son's mischievous grin,
 our daughter's self-contained sweet poise,
 and our youngest daughter's endearingly bashful nature. 
These likenesses of our children are treasures, but learn from my mistake. If you can't get them framed right away, store them flat in a dry climate to prevent rippling.

In spite of the tarnished silver in the shadowboxes and slightly rippled portraits, I am so glad we captured these memories. Every time I ascend the stairs, the darlings smile at me. And, when I come down from upstairs, I relive the joy of bringing each baby home.

Truly, "children are a gift from the Lord," Psalm 127:3.
(Full disclosure:  I am sure I treasure our three children so much, because our first son only lived a few hours. Enormous loss weights love gained.) 


  1. I love those pictures, Aunt Marcia! And cute idea for the baby clothes. I'm going to have to go dig up what Asher wore home from the hospital.

  2. I love the way you displayed the coming-home outfits. The drawings are treasures! I wish I had kept my two children's outfits--I passed them on to them to use with their children. I did keep our daughter's christening dress and have it displayed on a stand in our living room. I love displaying old things. I framed both of my grandparent's wedding pictures by placing their pictures on top of a crochet doiley that each of the grandmother's made. The frame was a frame that came from my paternal grandmother.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I enjoyed viewing ur works of art with the framing of ur baby's coming home from hospital clothing. Wish I had kept more of our sons tiny clothing...just passed it on to friends and family. I did keep one little treasure of clothing I made for our oldest son, a red satin outfit with bow tie and dyed tennie's to match for a 'beauty contest for babies' and he won 1st Place! It was a fun time and beautiful memory, he was one and half years...oh how swiftly the years go by.