Sunday, April 08, 2007

40 hats in 40 days

I had this idea.

I needed something to do for Lent. Something that would make things a little better than they were before.

My friend, Grumpy, once did a spell of knitting for her hospital's NICU. I thought that sounded just right. I'd be giving my time, my skill, and my yarn to some of God's smallest children.

Lent is 40 days long. So I chose 40 hats. I figured I could do one a day, and all would be well. I could contemplate and think while I knit, and knitting for babies is always fun.

It didn't quite go that way.

I started off easily enough. Knitting a hat a day. And then things got in the way... the kids, life, a trip out of town to visit family, allergies.... I had to come to a reckoning with myself. Was I going to do this or not? It was a promise I had made to myself, and to God.

I got my needles, I put all other knitting aside, and I set out to really do this. And I thought.

It was hard.

I thought of the moms who would pull out a teeny hat in another 18 years, and marvel at how far their little one had come from those days in the NICU. I also thought of the moms who might pull out a teeny hat every year, and wish for the baby they never got to bring home. I thought of my blessings, and the things I could do to make life better for my family. And for every hat I thanked God for my children and my life.

I guess I managed a Lenten journey after all.

So today I finished the last hat. I piled them on the floor so that I could marvel at the joy that was 40 baby hats. I took pictures from several angles, because once I take them to the hospital, I will never see any of these hats again. And they're probably the most meaningful little things I will ever knit.

I'm going to do this again.

I wonder if I can get 100 Santa hats done by the end of November?


Megan said...

I'm so proud of you! What a fabulous journey :)

Tracycg said...

They're beautiful, Milli! Congrats on getting them done. What a loving, thoughtful gift for all the mothers of the teeny-tiny. A woman on my twins MB just lost her daughter. I'm sure she would have loved one of your hats.

Grumpy said...

Awesome! Congratulations. And I'd love to join you on your 100 Santa hat challenge, though mine will be Santa and Christmas tree hats.

herringtwins said...

What an inspirational story. You're such a blessing to those families. The hats are adorable!