26 years ago, a couple named Bill and Sandy (that is my husband and I) were awaiting our first-born child. We had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl, but we were excited and scared (at least I was). We had just moved into a new house and had a yellow gingham nursery ready. In the garage, Bill worked on a cradle for the new baby and he did so without the many tools that he has today. I had seen a photo of a cradle in a magazine and had asked Bill to make it and my very talented husband took on that task and did an outstanding job.
The baby, Alycia Jean, arrived on July 6th and came home a week later to an almost done cradle. Her first night, she slept in a dresser drawer beside our bed because the cradle had just been stained (even then we knew that it was not good for a baby to smell fumes). The first several weeks, the cradle sat on 5 gallon buckets as it awaited the base to be built – but Alycia did not seem to mind as she was greatly loved and her needs were met. When the cradle was completely done, she slept in it the same as she did before, unimpressed that her Daddy had completed a family heirloom.
For the 26 years, this cradle stayed in our (Bill and mine’s) room. It held 2 additional baby girls, Laryssa 23 years ago and Audrianna 18 years ago. After that it held the original quilt-blanket used as bedding, numerous pillows (including several made for me as gifts from little girls learning to sew), and in the last years my husband would pile the pillows and shams from our bed on it each night. Above the cradle, hung a print that my Mother got me when Audrianna was born of a mother placing her baby in a cradle while 2 little girls looked on. It was just part of our room decor and occasionally I would look at the cradle with sweet memories of my husband’s craft and our sweet babies.
In May of this year, the cradle left our home for a new baby boy awaiting to be born at the last of June/first of July. Josiah and Laryssa are awaiting the birth of their new baby boy and so the cradle went to their home. Our family decided that each baby born to the Joseph family will get the cradle for the new baby. Each baby’s name will be added to the cradle before it is passed along to the next family (just for the record here, Audrianna’s name was just added before the cradle moved – she waited 18 years to see her name on the cradle).
So now the “hand-built with love by a talented Daddy”, is in NY with our son-in-law and daughter awaiting a new baby arriving about the same time as we were waiting 26 years ago. Bill and I did not know that we would be starting a family tradition, I just knew I wanted my husband to build a cradle.
My prayer for each child that lays in that cradle is that they will come to know the Lord as their Lord and Savior at an early age and will serve Him all the days of their lives. May each name that is written on that cradle also be written in the Lord’s Book of Eternal Life.
And a note to this little boy – your “Grammie” can’t wait to meet you and pray this prayer over you. You are already loved by your awaiting family.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145:3-4