When Ben was born, his grandmothers helped feather his nest.
Abuela Sanchez crocheted a soft throw to tuck him under for a nap.
Grandma Shirley cross-stitched a nursery rhyme that hung over his crib. (Yes, I have the cross-stitch piece put carefully away, but I did not crawl up into the attic to take a picture of it.)
With Ramona's arrival less than 90 days away, there are starting to be signs of feathering activity.
I bought a little tie-dye dress at our local Arts Festival in mid-May.
And I have already sent books out to Portland, with many more to follow.
The blanket, the dress, and the cross-stitch will soon head west as well.
Grandmother Susan, Ben's stepmother, recently took Alise out on a baby clothes shopping spree. Jenna, Alise's sister, admits to being eager to buy baby clothes and "cute bath toys."
I have no doubt that Mona, Alise's mom, has already started buying items as well.
We are all helping to feather the nest.
Alise is no slouch at feathering her own nest. Recently she sent us all pictures of a project she had just completed for Ramona.
These will be Ramona's first (well, probably her second, per Alise) moccasins.
Ramona Dawn will be a member of the Little Shell Chippewa tribe. With Alise working at the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) in Portland and given her family's involvement in tribal events back in Montana, my guess is that Ramona will have a fair number of powwows and other Native American events under her belt before she ever takes her first step.
Whenever and wherever Ramona Dawn takes those first steps, she will be taking them from a well-feathered nest, full of books and dresses, bath toys and moccasins, dreams and hopes.
And full of love.