I'm not sure if it's the fact that I've lived away from my family for 15 years (19 if you include college) but I find myself treasuring the simplest objects that remind me of home. From the moment I set up my first apartment, I've always made sure I had some decorations from my parents house. My Mom must understand my needs because she's constantly offering china, glassware, framed paintings by my grandmother. I rarely say no.
My need to be surrounded by some of the "stuff" I grew up with has culminated with the birth of my first child. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I called my cousin Vanessa in Florida to get my mother's bassinet. The one she slept in 72 years ago and the one used by my brother, me and my cousin's children. When I realized I couldn't find a proper base for it, my wonderful Mom decorated it so it could be part of my daughter's room. My father even had a photo session with my newborn girl taking a nap in the bassinet.
Vanessa must have also understood what I needed because the bassinet's arrival was followed by a box with 2 blankets made by my Great Aunt Telin for my cousin's first daughter. There is even a picture of me holding my niece Anna Cristina in the same yellow blanket I wrapped my baby in 19 years later. It was more meaningful since Tia Telin, who was practically our grandmother, passed away 3 years before Amelia was born.
My daughter wears plenty of outfits that I wore when I was little and now she sleeps in her big girl bed in a pair of sheets I slept in until I went to college. You can call them family heirlooms but for me all these "things" are much more than that. They keep me connected to who I was. They make me feel like my family is a part of my daughter's childhood. Frankly, these things have helped me survive the often difficult reality of living far away from those I love so deeply. Ay Mama!