Friday, September 16, 2016

Family Heirlooms

Four generations - Jill, Brooke, me and my mom, Janis
Life moves quickly. With Snapchat photos that disappear just after they are clicked open and life summed up in 140 characters per Tweet, permanence can be elusive. We are never far from our phones, scrolling to make sure we don't miss the latest post from our "friends" - some of whom we've never even met in person.

When the washing machine breaks and it's cheaper to replace it than buy new parts, we bemoan the "planned obsolescence" of "things."

So maybe it's even more important to celebrate the things that last. Relationships top that list, of course. And sometimes, a few mementos survive the journey, too.

For Brooke's 2nd birthday, I passed along a wooden doll cradle. It first belonged to my Mom, who got the gift from her parents when she was about 5 years old. Her little sister, Merlene, got a similar cradle.

Little Janis Neelly's cradle featured a blue "J" at the base. So when Jill was little, my mom passed it on to her. Now, it belongs to Brooke. Though her given name doesn't start with a "J," her middle name is Jaylin, so the "J" cradle passed to her.
We also gave Brooke a Raggedy Ann that had been crafted by Randy's mom, Marie. I don't expect a 2-year-old to understand the significance of these family heirlooms.
For me, however, there's deep significance in passing along a 75-year-old doll cradle or sharing a doll made by another great grandmother who would have loved this next generation of little girls.
For right now, it's enough that Brooke will put her "babies" to bed in the same cradle that rocked her Great Grandma Janis' dollies. (In the photo above, she's covering up a baby with a blanket made by her Grandma Christy ... more family connections!)
Doll buggy and accessories from G/G Ladd!
Brooke loves her babies.  She's more interested in doll babies than Kinley ever has been. But when there's a real baby around, she'll gladly "take care" of her, too.
Cousin Ruth got plenty of love from Brooke and Grandma Christy.
Need a diaper change? The 2 year old is on it! We'll have this girl babysitting in no time! (Of course, there is that baby dolly that was abandoned in the background of this photo. Maybe we'll hold off on the babysitting gig!)
All the dolly gear may seem stereotypical. But we also got her some farm animals and a farm play mat. This girl can be a Mommy and a farmer.
Or maybe she'll be a firefighter, courtesy of Uncle Brent.
She'll keep in shape by pedaling her trike and her head will be protected in her new bike helmet from Great Grandma and Grandpa Moore.
It's a blessing to get together to celebrate birthdays.
With sisters ...
 And parents ...
 And even more generations.

Thankfully, those are the things that last.


  1. How wonderful for you to have all these generations together. The crib and doll are very special. I have kept things for my boys to pass on but as they live and will live far away I can't see that they will be kept.

    1. I am a saver for sure! However, I need to start going through things and weeding out. We've lived in the same place for 31 years, and I have collected too much stuff.

  2. how wow wonderful that your family cares