The Christening Gown

  Years ago when I was going through a creative phase I decided that I would like to make a christening gown for my future grandchildren and maybe it could be passed down to their children. As an only child, of an only child, of an only child, with two cousins who lived on the other side of the world, I lived with no other family around me than my mother and father. I had missed terribly the big families of which I read in the many books into which I immersed myself. I had a best friend who was in the middle of 4 brothers and had so many aunts, uncles and cousins that she couldn’t count them. She got so many hand me downs that she never had any new clothes. Oh, how envious I was for that!   With the christening gown I thought how wonderful it would be for me to put my energy into something that would be worn by my grandchildren and hopefully be passed down through generations – a little like the Royals! 😉   Now remember, this is way before I had any grandchildren. I was thinking of my energy being in an item that would be passed down to coming generations. I didn’t realise at the time that I had such thoughts let alone feelings.   By the time my first grandchild was due to arrive I was at uni studying a part-time degree whilst at the same time working full-time.   I was struggling to find the time to study I certainly had no time to make a christening gown. To say nothing of the fact that I did not have the skills to make something so intricate.   Time was passing and I was panicking that something I had only thought about had become so important to me. If I couldn’t make it I had to get someone to make it for me. So I searched out such a person and was horrified at the price she quoted. I took a deep breath and said ‘Yes!’, hoping my husband never found out the cost!   When the gown was finished it was beautiful, with such intricate detail that I could never in my wildest dreams have been able to achieve.   In order to put my energy on it I decided that I would embroider my grandson’s name and date of birth onto the petticoat. I had to admit defeat when I tried and failed to achieve the outcome I was after.   I relented and took the petticoat to a booth in the shopping centre that embroidered towels, shirts etc. The names are much bigger and brighter than I first envisioned. The boys are done in blue and the girls in pink. And they will not be fading any time soon, nor will there be any problem reading the names.   We had two grandchildren close together, a gap of three years and then a flurry, which kept the gown on a fairly quick rotation, with me the custodian washing it in between. I mended two spots on the lace this last time when I ironed it, otherwise it is in perfect condition.   Last Sunday the christening gown was worn for the eleventh time, something I never even imagined when I was feeling sick over the price over it. Now 16 years later, and we are more prosperous than back then, the christening gown is priceless.   The grandchildren all delight in seeing their name on the bottom of the petticoat. Telling the boys that they too wore that frock … and also the bonnet, it is a delight to watch their faces.   I wonder who will be the next one to wear it? I think our second generation is complete now. Where will the first great grandchild come from?   I could never have imagined what it would be like to have eleven grandchildren back when I first had thoughts of a christening gown.   I am so pleased I followed up on that idea.  


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