For Day 13 of my 21 Days of Transience I’m back in Buxton with my baby…
It never really occurred to me to use a buggy to transport my daughter around when she was tiny.
It just seemed much more practical to strap her to me, especially as we had Becka the golden retriever to take out a few times a day and our dog walk route was not remotely buggy-friendly.
We started out with the carrier in the photo, with her facing inwards in the very early days before I flipped her at a few months old so she could share the view. Later we moved on to a very colourful sling and this was our favourite means of shared transport — indeed, I still used it on occasion when she was a largeish toddler as carrying her on my hip was actually really comfortable. And it kept her out of trouble whenever I had to focus on something other than her.
But there was another reason: I just preferred to keep Claire close to me.
We were a tight team, she and I. For a long time there were just the two of us, and until she began going to nursery a couple of half-days a week we were together pretty much 24/7. I’d been warned I’d struggle with all of this, that I’d be overwhelmed, get frustrated, feel lonely, want to escape.
But none of that happened. Sure, we had our challenging interludes but overall those first couple of years were just a succession of amazing milestones and perfect moments that left me in awe of this small person, and not a little humbled by her innate wisdom.
So keeping Claire snuggled in to me whenever we were on the move, in this safe and loving place of tenderness, soon became simply a logical extension of how our stories intertwined.
It’s an experience she treasures all these years later almost as keenly as I do.
Main image: Claire aged just shy of six months in Grin Woods, Buxton, January 1993