Pop-up, the love of his Mom, and our Family Heirloom “Baby Basket”

A wonderful Pop-up, filled with the love of his Mom for her precious “Baby Basket”…

My late mother-in-law and father-in-law, Joe and Florence, were married 6 1/2 years before they had their first baby, a boy.  Flo told me the story many times over how she thought she would never have children; and what a miracle their baby boy was to them.  Of course Flo was over-the-moon, and prepared for her little bundle with her knitting and her sewing and fixing up a perfect little nursery.

Flo told me the story many times over of going to a second-hand furniture store in Providence, with her older sister who was expecting her 3rd child, and the discovery of two identical used wicker bassinets. Flo thought the bassinets may have been used by twins.  Flo and her sister each brought home one of the bassinets.

Flo called her bassinet a “Baby Basket”.  I’ve always loved this.

Flo’s Baby Basket would become our family heirloom, a piece of furniture so precious that words cannot do it justice.  There is so much love in this woven wicker masterpiece that each time a baby sleeps in it, it’s like a lovely, endearing, forever hug.

Flo told me the story many times over that she knew she and Joe would have one baby only; but that would not happen.  Flo and Joe welcomed their second baby boy 18 months later; that baby would be Barry, my husband, father of 4, grandfather of 9, soon to be 10.  Barry would sleep in that little second-hand Baby Basket… and Flo would tell me many times over of how this second baby boy blessing was beyond her imagination.  She told me how she stood over that Baby Basket and watched her baby boy with joy beyond words.

Flo and Joe would go on to have one more baby.  A boy.  Four years after their first miracle.

But it would be Barry who would love the tradition of the Baby Basket that meant so much to his Mom; and it would be Barry’s legacy to gently lay his babies in it, pat their little backs, sing them to sleep and watch them with joy; then the grandkids began arriving, and it would be Barry (aka “Pop-up”) who would carry on the tradition of what his Mom called the “Baby Basket.”

Flo’s story of her Baby Basket had so mesmerized me for so long that I asked her to write the story of the bassinet as we prepared for the arrival of our first grandchild, a girl, Taylor Jane.  It was 2001.  These are Flo’s own words to her first great-grandchild…

We framed Flo’s “story” and it hangs to this moment in Taylor’s bedroom…

Nana Flo lived to a great 89 years old, passing away in 2008.

Nana Flo’s “Baby Basket” is out again for the arrival of our newest little miracle, Victoria Florence Margaret… and Barry has again honored his Mom and her bigger-than-life memories with the preparation of her “Baby Basket”.  It’s almost impossible to describe the love I have for this man, this loving man who so loves his Mom and his kids and his grandkids, and loves family tradition and honored memories…

And through my river of joyful tears at being so blessed to have this great man in my heart and at my side, I know our beloved Nana Flo is smiling from Heaven at her beloved “baby boy Barry”, her beloved ever-growing family and her beloved “Baby Basket” masterpiece…

I know Nana Florence will be “standing watch over that Basket”,  adoring Victoria Florence Margaret and “watching every move she makes” as she sleeps in the cherished family heirloom.


Pop-up, the love of his Mom, and our Family Heirloom “Baby Basket” was last modified: May 21st, 2013 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (6)
  1. Just seeing that Baby basket brings me back to my own family and the one we passed down and around. I loved it and used it when my first was born, by the time the next arrived, it had seen lots of wear between cousins and nieces and fallen into disrepair that wasn’t fixable. I’m sharing your tears of joy and memories of children and grandchildren and anxiously awaiting the arrival of your newest!
    Our double blessings arrived last week and we are over the moon in love as I know you will be with this precious baby girl!

  2. This is so beautiful, Mom! We are so blessed with so much love in our family. Dad looks so happy to help carry on the “baby basket” tradition!

  3. beautiful, and now I’m crying! What a wonderful, loving story, and what a memory to create from generation to generation. Thank you for sharing such an incredible piece of your family with us.

  4. I’m in love!!! My Mom passed down HER (and my Uncle’s) bassinet to my sister (for her son, Mark) to sleep in when he visited them, but when Addie was born, we took the basket to RI where she snuggled in it- on the original mattress from the 40’s!
    I plan on keeping it to pass down to our grandbabies, too!

Pop-up, the love of his Mom, and our Family Heirloom “Baby Basket” was last modified: May 21st, 2013 by Sharon Couto