The Quest for a Legacy
I was a few months into babywearing my eldest son when I started to pay attention to the talk of 'legacy wraps' on social media. If you haven't yet figured out what everyone's going on about, a legacy wrap is supposed to be your 'One Wrap', the wrap that comes to symbolise your wrapping years, the one you'll hopefully hang onto in one form or another when your babywearing days are over. It's the wrap you might find yourself snuggling into when your 'baby' heads off to university, or that you pass on to your grown-up children for them to carry your grandbabies.
As I realised just how significant wrapping was going to be to my memories of these early years I became a little obsessed with finding our legacy. It turned into something akin to an Arthurian quest and, if I'm honest, an excuse to buy and churn wraps as though each might be the legacy holy grail.
People take different approaches to their legacy quests. Some get on SlingoFest and search for their 'Birth Wrap', a wrap that was released on their child's birthday (or occasionally their conception day!). Some search for a wrap that has a name with special meaning to them, for example the name of their little one or a reference to the place they were born. Others commission a unique handwoven wrap meeting their precise specifications.
Furious searching of SlingoFest determined that absolutely no wraps were released on my eldest son's birthday, and only three bore any relevance to his name. I didn't like any of those three, and I couldn't afford to commission a custom HW, so these quest strategies clearly weren't going to work for us.
Life went on at the break-neck speed of those early months and years. I started to consider the wraps that lived with us to see which of those might be worthy of the legacy crown. Would it be the first wrap I ever bought, even before my son was conceived, in wishful anticipation of our rainbow baby (Girasol Northern Lights Diamond Weave)? How about the wrap that we used when we first climbed up Glastonbury Tor together and I finally managed to breastfeed him outdoors without him having a meltdown at the wind (Firespiral Spindrift Obsidian Starmap)? Then there was the wrap we used when he first saw the sea, took one look and went to sleep (Oscha Okinami Sia), or the one we took on holiday when we stayed in a beach hut and he'd just started to walk (Firespiral Barnacle Aqua Seafoam). There's also the beautiful one my husband bought us for our second (cotton) wedding anniversary, and which we've used for many a geocaching expedition and hike (Firespiral Autumn Dendron Harvest).
The thing is, all of these memories are equally precious and come to mind every time I see the corresponding wrap. They'll all have to stay somehow, even if it's only a tiny bit of scrap made into a keepsake, but I still wanted there to be one, extra special, never-ever-leaving one.
In the end, all my searching was unnecessary as my eldest son simply chose his legacy. It's the one he picks out every time he wants "up", the one he's thrown up over the most and the wrap I found him cuddling one day when he was feeling poorly and tired (Firespiral Nightfall Frost Midwinter).
I've just started to quest for his brother's legacy wrap. There are loads of wraps bearing his name, many of which I love (& may even have subconsciously inspired us when we were deciding what to call him!). We're also lucky enough to have a very special handwoven now, which arrived just before him and curiously foretold his birth (Little Fellows After Autumn Must Come...). So far, he's definitely Christened his Baie Portobello Ultraviolet most often with nappy explosions and sick, so that's a strong early contender! I'm not rushing to name his legacy though. His preference for wraps, as for everything, will evolve in time.
If you're stuck in the throes of your own quest for a legacy my advice is to take a breather, lay down your sword, take your thumb off the Paypal icon and look for the wrap lying on the floor with the most biscuit crumbs or baby sick on it. You might consider it your 'beater' or feel that there are prettier designs or snazzier blends, but your feelings just might change over time. As the memories become woven into it, as surely as the warp and weft, that wrap that is most loved by your beloved will become a little more magical everyday until you realise that your legacy quest is well and truely over.