I made a mobile for Calder over the weekend. She’s two months old now and despite sharing a name with a sculptor famous for his large, spinning works of art, she didn’t have even the humblest crib mobile to call her own.
Having a mobile for a baby is not strictly necessary, but it’s helpful for giving tiny darting eyes somewhere to focus their near-sighted gaze. I decided to make hers myself, as I’d done for her siblings, with things I had already at home: a wooden dowel, some lengths of whisper thin butcher’s twine, and poms-poms made from scrap yarn. Faye helped me with the pom-poms while I had her attention and I finished them myself once it was stolen by something else.
Since making Calder’s mobile 48 hours ago, it has hung in every available spot in the apartment—twisting gently from door mouldings and curtain rods and headboards—following Calder wherever she happens to be set down. As it’s happened, we’ve found ourselves with an exceedingly mobile mobile.
At the risk of overstating things, it seems to me that embracing a traveling mobile might be a perfect metaphor for navigating these early months. For me, having a newborn is a lesson in a kind of shape shifting. A baby is born and in a million ways life around it begins to morph. In the early days and weeks and months, routines and habits and the very passage of time gets thrown off kilter, tethered to a brand new human being in ways that feel mundane and magical and sometimes, even oftentimes, downright maddening. But there’s comfort to be found in loosening the constraints a bit. There’s calm that comes with learning new ways of doing familiar things. There’s an advantage to moving a mobile and finding a new spot to settle whenever, and wherever, the need for settling strikes.
For the curious:
+ Here’s how to make pom-poms.