My Sister’s Barn Raising

Have you ever heard of the Amish tradition of Barn Raisings? When the whole community comes together to build a barn for a family in the community? Many hands make light work, etc. etc. Well – I think my sister is finally learning what that means! The arrival of her first child has perfectly aligned with the first birthday of my youngest and last (sniff sniff) baby boy! I have been putting things aside for the arrival of my first niece/nephew (at least on my side of the family) ever since they announced they were expecting!

While recently chatting with her on our daily 7:30am morning call during my commute to work (only made possible because she is on pre-maternity leave!) she told me she feels bad getting all of the baby hand-me-downs that have been coming her way. “I should pay you for all the baby things you are passing on to me! This baby isn’t going to have anything new!” (While I wanted to say YES, please pay me…Lord knows I could use the cash with 3 growing boys!) that isn’t the point. This is her community’s way (and especially my way) of getting her up and running as she enters this new chapter in her life! I am helping her raise her barn! And it feels sooo good! Each person who gives her a small gift or passes on a baby item in excellent ‘loved’ condition is making just a small effort and gesture, but when they all come together, it sets her up for baby #1 in a big way!

The arrival of a baby is expensive and even though they are little, they need LOTS of stuff!! (interested in a way to avoid purchasing some baby ‘stuff’, check out my post: Budget Lovers Guide to Entertaining a Toddler)

My sister’s modern day ‘barn raising’ is actually the passing on of unneeded baby items from me and my three sons. We are just getting out of the baby phase and what perfect timing for me to pass on all of these unneeded items. I explained to my sister that it isn’t just that I don’t need them with this a chance to avoid them going into the landfill or donating them to a stranger, it means that all the things I loved and have fond fond memories of with my children gets a renewed life and purpose with her first born! I hate throwing things away (hence my pack rat tendencies) so this is a perfect excuse to get these baby things out of my house that otherwise might linger too long!

I remember being very overwhelmed at the generosity of my community of friends and family for the arrival of all of my 3 children! It was humbling. (here’s a few snaps from my baby shower before #2).

Big Brother All Stars!
Baby Shower Generosity!
After the UnWrapping!
I didn’t have a big sister to get loved baby items from, but I assure you every piece of hand-me-downs that do come my way I am so grateful for and they always come in handy! I told my sister she will have an opportunity to pass on her things some day to someone who needs them! But for now, the benefit gets to fall on her! It feels good for me (as long as I get to see some pics of my new niece/nephew in a few of the belongings I passed down) and I hope it will come to feel good for her too!

I am going to miss our 7:30am call!



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