The American Dream is Caring for Others

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Create a Dream Day by Caring for a Baby

Living the American dream often requires that you give the gift of time. This is especially true when you understand what it is like to bring home a newborn baby along with the work involved in being a new parent.

Finally, this week, someone actually accepted the baby gift that is my favorite to give.

In addition to some handmade and homemade goodies for new parents and their newborn child, I always write in our “Welcome to the World” card, an offer for free babysitting during infancy and toddlerhood, at the time and place of the new families choosing.

We received the very happy news on Wednesday, that we would have a V.I.P. visiting with us out here on our vineyard farm. Violet is a little over three-months-old, and according to her just back-to-work mama, baby, “Violet‘s daddy could really use a break.”

For a split second, I was caught up in a dizzying load of domestic “Gotta Do’s” that had me questioning whether aparticular Friday was the right time for such a visit —

  • Was I going to be able to take on the “Mount Washmore” pile of laundry from our very recent, three day business trip to Ashland, Oregon?
  • Did I really want to scrub floors and toilets to a sparkling, sanitary shine for our special guests?
  • Could I possibly soldier on with my laborious saga of passport procural and still make the play date at the aquatic center that my little daughter earned and deserved?
  • Would I make certain to be completely physically and emotionally present for my husband-love while he undergoes his third round of minor surgery for (hopefully, still) non-malignant skin cancer, and remember when we get back home to set the small rodent traps, deep-clean the hen house, mow the quarter acre lawn and relocate our stack of firewood because he would not be able to do any heavy lifting until his stitches are removed?
  • Was it possible, I thought, for me to accomplish all of the baking and cooking I had intended to do this week?
  • Should this be the time I back off of the Spanish, French, Science, Theology and Math with my own two home-schooled children?
  • Will I be able to take advantage of the “sun breaks” and paint that deck railing so we won’t continue to collect splinters as we traipse down the steps to the garden? Oh . . . and . . .”The Garden?”

The fact is, only I had the answers here.

“YES! We would love to have Violet visit with us!” was my enthusiastic, sincere response.  Then we were off and running . . .

For the 48 hours preceding the big event, I checked everything off of the above list, with a glad heart and my children’s help and support.

We set our souls and sights on the fun and games to come with our little bundle and just moments before this winky, baby-love arrived, my children (both dressed in violet clothing), were jumping up and down with excitement as they made their way over to our breakfast/studies table.

Dream Day by Caring for a Baby: Pumpkin ginger blood orange olive oil muffins

My little son and daughter gobbled up the freshly baked, new recipe I created of pumpkin-ginger, blood orange olive oil muffins that filled our home with heavenly aromas, sure to make our guest baby and her mommy feel the comforts of our home.

Create a Dream Day by Caring for Baby Violet: Renee's violet crochet baby hat

The fresh flowers gathered by my daughter, “Sweet Petite,” as I call her, were not the only lovely expression she shared with little Violet as she settled in to her new surroundings. My amazing Renee taught herself to crochet, and made a violet colored hat that we decorated with violets as a gift for the baby. It’s long been a family philosophy to offer gifts from our hands, our hearts, and our home.

It was like Christmas morning for my children, what with the holding, kissing, reading, and singing to this tiny tot. My seven-year-old son, was in fact, so affected by Violet’s crying that he began to cry himself and was emotionally devastated when he couldn’t find a way to quickly soothe her.

Create a Dream Day by Caring for Baby Violet: Kids reading to Violet

For me, well, this is my idea of being “Queen-for-a-Day.” I would rather have a baby in my arms and my presence than a receive pedicure or a trip to Paris or anything else I can even begin to imagine.  With her new hat on, all bundled up and after a quick diaper change, we walked out to meet the hens, bunny and kittens.

Violet and I watched my son play on the tire swing for a few minutes while Sweet Petite fed our white bunny some of the cover crop between the rows of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir vines. We walked and walked for about a half mile until I decided that the clouds were thinking about raining on my parade.

We scurried back inside to our cozy home just in time.

Create a Dream Day by Caring for Baby Violet: Semolina herb swirl bread

As the rain came down, I served up some spicy tuna sandwiches on home made semolina herb swirl bread. Performing this task with one hand was not nearly as amazing as how fast Violet’s ninety minute nap went by. I know it was because she was deliciously snuggly in my arms, and I so did not want it to end, and time does, indeed, fly when you’re having fun.

I was in my deliriously happy place with tiny, perfect Violet sleeping in my arms and her baby’s breath warm and sweet on my neck.

Loving and caring for children is the greatest pleasure I have ever known. I hold these precious little wonders in the highest place of honor in my life and they give me complete joy and inspire me to continue to live this dream of mother, home maker, craftsperson, vineyard farmer, and gardener.

To say that this has been a beautiful dream day would be an enormous understatement. Spending time with my children and our little flower baby was perfection, and tonight’s dreams will surely be sweet.

“How can there be too many children? That is the same as saying there are too many flowers.” ~Mother Theresa

Until my next American dream day adventure, I wish you happiness and love in all the things you dream about — great and small.


Shellie Croft spent a year sharing her American dream stories on 8 Women Dream.  You can now find these stories on her blog Shellie’s Consumption.

  • Mom2ThreeAngels

    What a breath of incredibly fresh air you are my dear! I agree- baby people are the best the world has to offer. I am so happy I was blessed with 3!! My older two are JUST like that with their baby sis! When she cries we all do- drop everything and run to her “what happened” as they begin to make silly faces or sing and dance for it to stop immediately. When she smiles again- we all smile :o) the way it should be LOVES xo

    • Thank you SO much, my sweetest Mamafriend with 3 Angels:)  Babies and children are the best in my book, and I love to sing their praises!

      Loves to you!

  • Catherine

    Each week you remind us that there is love in the world.

    • It’s the team I play for, wonderful Cath!  I’m hoping to recruit more people:)

  • What a beautiful baby and what a beautiful story!

    • It was a beautiful day:)  I will have more, please!