Tribal Gathering

May 9, 2007

Over the weekend I had the privilege of taking part in a baby shower for my cousin Lila who is expecting a boy in the middle of June. Before the shower our wonderful hostess Sarah wrote a beautiful email explaining the gathering:

“Over the years this group of women has outgrown the traditional definition of “family” and has evolved beyond “friends”. Pearl once called this expanded group of family and close friends a “tribe”, and the term has always felt right to me. As such, this celebration is somewhat of a tribal gathering, and in keeping with tradition let us allow our tribal elders, sisters and daughters the opportunity to honor Lila and her baby with our blessings. During our gathering, we will form a circle and take part in a bead ceremony that will give each person the opportunity to speak aloud two blessings: one for the mother-to-be, and one for her unborn child.”

The participants ranged in age from 25- late 80s and it was fun to hear what advice was given based on life experiences – of mothering, of grandmothering, of new challenges and changing life circumstances.

As we went around the circle with our blessings we strung a bead on a necklace – representing each wish for Mother and Child. Lila’s Mom will wear this necklace in the delivery room as the Baby Boy comes into this world. It was such a sincere and honest way to welcome the new addition, and the blessings were so personal, heartfelt, and honest it was amazing to experience.

Mom and Daughter (and Ms. Mabel)

The current youngest member of the family who stole the show with her beautiful blue eyes:

And the other show stealer – Ms. Mabel who has the personality of a big dog in the body of a small dog. During the blessing ceremony Mabel kept trying to get up to the table of food even though we had done our best to turn the chairs around and pull them away from the table. She got close but luckily wasn’t successful!

Beautiful Grandmother to be Pearl who used to sing Lila and me to sleep strumming on her guitar, and who let us jump in the pool and scare away the frogs late late on hot summer nights

Our hostess Sarah with her doggies (Strider’s favorite cousins) – Grit and Cole

The tribe

Some good old fashioned Doggie 500 ended a day I won’t soon forget


I love the bead idea for a shower- I did this for a good friend but everyone brought such enormous beads she ended up with a dookie chain too heavy to actually wear! Especially during childbirth!!

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