Dear Elliot

I did not know, my sweetness, what it would feel like to be a grandmother. I tried to imagine it, and I wasn’t able to, not the whole time that you were on your way. I knew I would love you, that was certain – but the rest of it was a secret I’m only just now figuring out. My own mother has turned out to be such a wonderful grandmother, that I felt a lot of pressure, so I hope I do okay. It has started like this – you are so beautiful that I have shown your picture to every person I have encountered in the last 10 days. (The lady at the wine store agrees that you are perfect, and the guy who does our taxes (your Poppy Joe sent that one) agrees. Several taxi drivers have concurred, and I like to think that the lady at the grocery store can’t wait for an update.)  I have not been so besotted of a human since your Mum and Aunties were in my arms. I cannot get enough of you, your tiny fingernails are miraculous, your little mouth, so like your mother’s, I could look at it all day. In this way, my Elliot, becoming a grandmother was like becoming a mother. You are like sunshine, I can watch you for hours, and holding your small body in my arms almost hurts, it is so divine.

It’s different than being a mother though, because I am not afraid.  I don’t worry you’ll stop breathing, I am unconcerned by your snuffles and sneezes, I am not anxious about hypothermia if your hands feel cool, and I don’t fear for your future when you sleep through a feeding. I felt that fear for your mum, and it was all used up on her. I’ve seen how it goes now, and I know you’re not as tenuously here as it seems. When your mum asks me if you’re okay, it’s with an easy heart that I can reply that your are not just okay, you’re perfect. You changed that – promoting me from fretting, over-concerned mother, to confident, unworried grandmother, and it’s a change I’m enjoying. it is no longer my responsibility to make what feel like crushing, all important decisions about life and death matters, like whether or not you should have socks on. That is for your mum and dad, and the part of me that remembers the feeling enjoys watching them fuss over you. (The present debate centres around your fingernails. Do they need cutting? Are they too long? What if you scratch yourself? How should they cut them if they are too long? They are beautifully finding their feet as parents, and seeing them take on the role and the responsibility so well is almost as compelling and satisfying as your eyebrows.)

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You’ve rippled through our whole little family, reminding me that babies are huge that way. Though you’re tiny, you’ve had an impact on all of our lives. Our whole dynamic has changed and we’re all looking forward, and dreaming, and imagining who you’re going to be, and what you’ll be like. So far, you’re easygoing, thoughtful, and worried – a lot like (me) and your Great Uncle Tupper, who’s name you bear. I’ve been thinking a lot about him this week, and I thought a lot about my own grandparents too,  as I did with your mother and aunties, wishing that they were here, wishing they could see you. I was blessed Elliot, with the most wonderful grandparents in the world, and though I only had them until I was in my teens, they remain two of the most powerful people of my life.  It was this that was in my mind when I started your blanket. The centre panel is Lily-of-the-Valley. It was an easy choice – for it reminds me of my own grandmother. It was a favourite of hers, and at her house a long bed of it bloomed every spring, and smelled like heaven. Your mother is named for my grandmother, and you’re the child who makes me a grandmother, and so Lilly-of-the-Valley it was.

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Surrounding that centre is a wee border of ring lace. Tiny, perfect circles, meant as a symbol of the whole family that surrounds you. We are a small family, but we are tight, and we know how to operate as a team. it’s been said that we’re a hard family to break into – but you, little boy, are in, and the force of the wee and fierce McPhee army stands round you.

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That motif gives way to a pattern of dog paws, meant to acknowledge your dog Penny. (She’s the border collie who keeps trying to lick your face, and comes over every time you fuss to make sure that someone is taking care of her people-puppy.)  I am not a dog person, but Penny is a very good dog, and I suspect she’s going to be your first and fiercest friend.

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The largest border on your blanket is your heritage – where you come from, in the context of the great big world. Your mother is Canadian, so snowflakes for her – and your father is Nicaraguan, so the little flowers are Nicaragua’s national flower, the sacuanjoche. (It is hard to knit one, but I think it’s close. Maybe when I teach you to knit you’ll come up with something better.)

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Finally, the edging I choose for you is an old one – unlike the dog paws, snowflakes or the flowers, I didn’t have to make it up. It’s a variation of Print O’ the Wave, and besides being beautiful, it’s a symbol of much. The water we all love to be near and in,  and the water you were born from and into, the wave of love that carried you here, and it isn’t lost on me that it looks a lot like the climbing plant in your living room that your parents both love.

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All together, your blanket is just over 2 and a half kilometres of silk and wool, soft and strong, like I hope you and life will be. It is a great thing to be resilient, and gentle.  It took me months to make it, and it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever made. I shudder to think how many stitches are in it, but know that I didn’t resent a one of them. They all hold my hope and joy, and there is so much of that – I couldn’t have knit a stitch less.

I know that right now, we don’t know each other very well. You’re young, and you’re perfect and you sleep a lot, and so much about you is yet to be revealed. Will you play the piano, like me? The guitar like Joe? Will you be tenderhearted, like Erin and your mum, or dangerously witted, like your Great Grandmother Bonnie or your Great Uncle Tupp? Will you be able to write like your Grammy or my Grampa, will you love crosswords and languages and travelling like Ian? Will you be fierce like your Aunt Amanda? Resilient like Samantha? Are you the child who is finally curly-haired, like me? Will you be tall? What will come from your father and his family? What will be all yours – the things that make you your own self, that we all come to think of as your gifts? We can’t wait to find out, and I am weepy and overwhelmed thinking of a lifetime of learning you.

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You will go on to do a great many things, but know that even though you are so little, you have already changed the world. Though I will do my best to stand between you and sadness, you are going to have bad days. It is my fondest wish that on those days, you remember this.  You are a wanted, longed for, and deeply loved person, and you are everything we ever hoped would happen. You are my grandson.

Welcome, and I love you.


282 thoughts on “Dear Elliot

  1. And your Grammy has been honing her photography chops all these years just for you, too. (And Elliot, that plant? I thought it might be a pothos, but it’s a philodendron. Know the difference? The leaf of a philodendron is shaped like a heart.)

  2. I have been waiting for this post and the blanket reveal and everything is just as perfect as I expected it to be. Have a wonderful life, little Elliot, you have the best family ever and are supported by all of them and the blog. We love you too!

  3. As my grandmother said about my daughter: a piece of perfection in an imperfect world. Welcome dear little boy, The Blog is so happy to meet you!

  4. Oh Steph, I am a grandmother of 6 and only wish I could have expressed to my grandbabies the overwhelming feeling of love as well as you did. He is SO perfect and smart…you tell by just looking at him. We we say in my family, Mazal-Tov! My your lives be filled with joy, good health and love!!

  5. There should be a special word for the love a grandmother feels for her grandchildren. You have written the best description I have ever read.

  6. Be still my heart. Beautiful baby boy, exquisite baby blanket, devoted parents, and dedicated Grammy and Grandpa. What more could a little boy ask for?

  7. You have, with stitches — and words — so carefully and lovingly wrought, made tangible the ineffable. Blessings to you and yours.

  8. Thanks for making me cry two posts in a row, sitting in my office with the door open.

    In other words, congratulations on this beautiful family you have – all of them.

  9. That blanket is, quite simply, a masterpiece — beautifully conceived and executed. I hope the whole family treasures it for many years.

    Also, the cheeks on that kid? To die for! How I miss big baby cheeks.

  10. What a wonderful and lucky little boy to be born into such a family of love. You are an amazing grandmother, and I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    (Side note – your writing inevitably causes me to feel big emotions… be they happy sweeps of warmth, or so humorous I’ll be found giggling to myself, or silently weeping while sharing these feelings of intense joy. You have an amazing gift with words.)

  11. How blessed your whole family is by this perfect little boy.
    May the world be good to him.
    Can’t wait to see a 4-generation picture!

  12. Darn it! You made me cry again!!! What a beautiful tribute (both in words and works) for your grandson to treasure from his Grammy.

  13. Beautiful everything! Amazingly Beautiful baby, gorgeous, gorgeous, blanket and a really lovely post that this little guy (and his proud parents) will cherish forever. I think it would be neat to have it done in calligraphy, maybe even water color little illustrations and have it framed for his room.

  14. Stephanie — You made me weep; that was so heartfelt and overwhelmingly beautiful. Your grandson is incredibly fortunate to be so loved. Thank you for sharing your love for him and your family with all of us. *hugs*

  15. Stop making us cry! 🙂 The blanket is almost as heartbreakingly beautiful as Elliot. And the family photo – so lovely. Thank you again Meg and Alex for allowing Grammy to share your (and her) joy with us all – we are captivated.

  16. I saw the first photo of the blanket post blocking above, and whispered under my breath, “Oh, Stephanie, look what you’ve done!” and then I saw Elliot’s cheeks, growing nice and round from all that nursing, and you can see he’s going to have you wrapped around his little finger for the rest of your lives! Enjoy every moment, and kiss him between his shoulder blades, my favorite spot on babies!!! (I still kiss my pre-teens and teen there after a shower…)

  17. Reminds me of one of the most blessed times of my life, when I had care of my grandson while his mother finished medical school and his father learned how to run computers for his company. My daughter’s classmates asked her if I was bored. What a question! Bored taking care of a newborn, watching him grow? I was so blessed.

  18. Babies are both a brand new start and a collection of those who came before them. Beautiful love letter to the newest member of the fold.

  19. So much love in such beautiful words. I only wish that every child ever born could hear them and feel the love. Including us big grownup children. You take my breath away.

  20. I love this. And I love that Meg and Alex, with their plants and their dogs, are so clearly building their own household with Elliot. It’s beautiful to behold– and probably even lovelier from your vantage point!

  21. Your gifts are many and amazing. I loved this, and your previous post, tremendously. I became a first time grandma a month before you did, and everything you describe is exactly how I feel too. Thanks for putting the words down so beautifully! Sniff Elliott’s head for me, give him a kiss, and tell him wee Olivia and I are waving from Ohio!

  22. My god, I loved your writing before, but now that you’re a grandmother, you are utterly brilliant. This post, the one about the birth where you talked about how beautiful your daughter is….your words are astounding. What a lucky family yours is, to have you in it.

    (And seriously, how that baby has any cheeks left is beyond me. They are just so nibble-able!)

  23. Another beautiful post to share with my soon to be a mom (making me a soon to be a grandma) daughter. Thank you for being able to put all those feelings into words.

  24. It’s hard to put into words how privileged I feel to be able to read these two posts. Your generosity in sharing these intensely personal thoughts is not something often found in today’s world. Elliot is blessed to have been born into such a close family, which is something that doesn’t come to everyone. Thank you Stephanie, your blanket is a work of art, as are your words.

  25. What a lucky perfect little boy to be surrounded by such love, in his blanket and in the heart of his family. Your eloquence in these last two posts is warming many hearts, as they reach for more tissues.

  26. I didn’t think you could write anything more beautiful than the previous post, but this one is equally wonderful. You have captured love and everything that is good in this world in these two wonderful essays. Peace and love to you and yours always.

  27. Blanket is gorgeous and half as wonderful as Elliot. You are truly a blessed family surrounded by much love and strength.

  28. That’s just wonderful. What a beautiful post. That blanket is gorgeous. The perfect foil for a perfect little addition to your family. 🙂

  29. *sniff* and all that, yes, of course.

    But I find myself wondering — how are you going to explain Us (The Blog) to him? How do Hank and Luis think of us collectively?

    It just struck me as mighty odd for a wee one to understand having such a ridiculous number of honorary aunties and uncles…

  30. Wow. Not only did you knit a beautiful and meaningful blanket, you knitted a beautiful poem of love to Elliot with your words.

  31. It has been said that we love our children, … but that we fall in love with our grandchildren! How sweet it is!

  32. Did I miss the “be sure there’s tissues warning”? You are such a beautiful writer and your grandson is one lucky boy to have you and this in his life. Congratulations!

  33. So very beautiful. I sit today and think of my own babies and how much I miss this time. I hope you and your family are able to enjoy every single day.

  34. So wonderfully eloquent and beautiful! I just loved the explanation of the different stitches and borders. That blanket is amazing!! And finding out Elliott is half-Nicaraguan makes me feel a little more connected to this post since I am Nicaraguan too! Elliott is such a lucky boy and he has a wonderful treasure in that blanket you knitted him with love.

  35. Welcome to the society of Grandmother hood. It’s a wonderful group and I know you will love being a part of it.
    Your words to him are so eloquent. Words I know he will treasure one day.
    Congrats to the family on the safe birth of the wee one. We, as the blog, already love him and feel we ( I ) have another grandson. That makes 4 for me!

  36. Bawling. Just bawling. I hope this is how my mom feels about her two grandchildren too – I know she loves them just as fiercely as we all do, but I hope she doesn’t worry about them – only for my own sake. I hope she just sees the beauty, and love, and brightness.

    I get to touch the world for my key – and welcome to it little one!

  37. Yep, here I am again – tears just rolling down my face.
    That is the most precious baby I think I’ve ever seen!!
    And he will be so loved….

    I’ve never had a child, but if I had, I would have wanted all of you in his/her life!

    Linda in VA

  38. The blanket is beautiful.

    7 months ago my girl friend told me she was going to be a grandmother. The next day I gave he yarn, needles and a very simple pattern since she can’t read patterns and told her to make a blanket for her soon to be born grandson. She put it off a few times and I finally cast on and sat with her while she learned the pattern. I came to her house when a couple of rows needed to be ripped out. She would text me that she was sitting in an airport knitting. The day of the the baby’s Bris she posted a picture and there was the blanket. Her husband told me that she finished it just hours before the ceremony. She was so proud when she talked to me. I told her that was the feeling that I wanted her to have.

  39. Elliot is so beautiful. I can’t stop admiring his little cheeks! And the blanket, well, it is much more than just a blanket, it is a work of art fit for a little prince. My congratulations to the new mom and dad. Thank you for sharing the joy that is Elliot with us.

  40. Your boy is perfect, and he’s also incredibly lucky to have been born into such a wonderful, loving family. I wish him a long and happy life.

  41. What a beautiful baby! If there is any more room in your life for blessings Stephanie then I sincerely wish them on you. Xx

  42. There truly is an overwhelming love and free feeling to being a grandmother. 🙂 Elliot is absolutely gorgeous, and his heritage shawl is stunning and meaningful. Thank you for sharing both! I hope we see many photos of your grandson and his parents. Lovely family!

  43. Hey, little Elliot? All those nupps? That is true, unbridled, devoted, to-the-core love.
    Congrats, Stephanie. I worried about the timing after Strung Along. I’m so happy you made it to see Meg at her strongest and most beautiful. You give not only spectacular blankets, but such precious gifts with your words as well.

  44. What a beautiful post! And the blanket – wow! Penny is a great name for a dog – I have a Penny – a min pin/ jack russell/ terror of a mix that would love Elliot. Enjoy being a grandmother and we will forgive you if you don’t post quite as often.

  45. My mother recommends biting babies’ fingernails off. Of course, that presupposes that your teeth meet in front, which mine don’t.

  46. Lovely. I’m relatively new at this g’parenting thing too, so I am really savoring every word and photo. My hubbo and I are Grammy and Poppy Joe too! Congratulations all around. The blanket is breathtaking! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

  47. Trust you’ve considered framing Meg’s post, and now Elliott’s, for perpetuity. Thank you to Meg and Alex for allowing us a glimpse of such intensely personal blessings and joy. The blanket is truly a masterpiece beyond measure – that pales in comparison to the wonder of this well-loved little boy.

    Since Rams already commented on the philodendron, all I can add is Amen.

  48. Simply beautiful! The baby, the parents, the blanket, and your wonderful essay which says exactly what I feel about my grandson.

  49. Oh, Stephanie, you’re breaking my heart. What beautiful words for a beautiful baby boy. Blessings on him, his parents, and his big wonderful family.

  50. Steph, these last few posts about your perfect grandson and your marvelous daughter have been an absolute delight to read. Thank you so much for sharing these stories with us, you Blog. It’s an honor and a privilege.
    All the best to you and yours. <3

  51. What a spectacular week for the Blog! Thank you for sharing your family and knitting with so much honesty, love, and emotion. Congratulations to everyone! Best wishes, sweet Elliott!

  52. Being a parent means buying alphabet, numbers and educational books.
    Being a grandparent means you buy Walter the farting dog goes on a cruise.

  53. That is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever read. You captured being a grandmother wonderfully. As the first of my friends to become a grandmother (and like you I am Grammy), it has been difficult to explain the feeling toward that child, so much like the feeling for my own two children, but also somewhat different.

    That blanket is a work of art. I love the explanation of the components and envy your ability to make that masterpiece.

  54. What a beautiful thing: the blog post, the baby, the blanket. I too had a dog named Penny who was my first and fiercest friend when I was a tiny thing and that’s the part where I got tears in my eyes.

  55. This beautiful story just touched me so much it is true being a grandmother is so different but you said it better than I ever could. That blanket quite literally takes my breath away I wish that I can do something so beautiful thank you for sharing

  56. The blanket is incredibly beautiful and meaningful-and completely eclipsed by the amazingness of the baby!

    These two posts are so very, very special.

  57. Oh My Lord; you made me cry AGAIN (first time was your previous post). Anyway that is one beautiful beloved little boy. God Bless All.

  58. first, thank you for the tears that came freely as I read. I needed to let them out, and this was a lovely catalyst.

    what a sweet letter to this perfect little boy – when he is much older, and reads this, it will be a tangible connection to the love that surrounds him

    I’m Nonna to my Xoe, and it’s the best thing in the world

  59. Oh you’re killing me. The beautiful perfect baby in his beautiful perfect heirloom blanket. The eloquent words, the touching symbolism of the blanket motifs and the all consuming life changing joy and love. I’m in a heap of tears. Bless this wee babe and his Grammy and his whole clan.

  60. You nailed it so perfectly, Grammy. That first look at your first grandchild! He is perfect! I had tears as I read about him and his blanket. So much love surrounds him. Such joy in a tiny bundle. Love to all of you.

  61. You’ve become a grandmother so soon after I’ve lost my mother and my children their grandmother. Reading your posts about the process is very reflective for me. There’s the rememberances of my mom meeting my children. The comparisons, the contrasts, the “oh geez, she won’t do that anymore”. And there is the fond hope I will approach grandmotherhood with half the grace and eloquence you are showing.
    Elliot is a very, very lucky child.

  62. Wow and aaawwww…that is one beautiful blanket. The baby? So sweet! So contented looking. Already pretty confident that he is well loved and cared for. Our daughter’s babe, on the other hand, is so comfortable inside that we are still waiting to meet her/ him. I love how newborns exist between here and the world they come from for the first couple of weeks and then unfold and join us. Lovely pics.

  63. The baby is beautiful, the blanket is beautiful, and your letter to Elliot is beautiful! And I’m all weepy right now.

  64. Steph, I have 4 grandchildren ranging from almost 10 to 9 months and I love them deeply, passionately, and viscerally. Here is what I realized when I was rocking my first grandson to sleep after a challenging morning for him and his parents. The difference between grandmothering and mothering is not just the absence of fear but the PRESENCE of time. When I am with my grands there is nowhere else I need to be. Nothing else that needs doing. My mind is focused completely on them. I am not planning dinner, looking forward to when they are asleep so I can shower, fussing over laundry piling up or the myriad of other things that I did when I was a young mum. I am, for that time, simply there with them and they with me. It is a blessed gift and one that I am truly grateful for. I would give them the world. They hold my heart.

    If you are interested, take a look at Lesley Stahl’s book, “Becoming Grandma.” Wonderful.

    • Well said. Exactly how I feel about my own grandkids – no agenda, just them and me and pure contentment. 🙂
      I must say that Stephanie’s description of how we feel about our kids as being our hearts walking around outside our bodies was spot on. That feeling is also there for our grandkids, without the angst.

  65. Steph, after several days of some personal sadnesses it was beyond wonderful to read this beautiful essay about Elliot and the blanket. Thank you. ❤️

  66. Oh my goodness. Every post lately has me in tears! What a beautiful moving post to leave for your grandson. I could only imagine how special it will be for him to read this someday. Love!

  67. My best friend in the world just moved away to be Grammy to her two. I have felt betrayed. But, now, I think I ‘get’ it.

  68. Meg, the best way to trim a newborn’s nails are with your teeth. You will never cut him if you use your teeth. Just make a little bite on one side and then peel it off.

  69. What a wonderful love letter. Little Elliot doesn’t know yet what kind of fierce McPhee army is around him, but he will learn.

    There is nothing like having a grandchild and there is no way to prepare for the first one. If you would kill to protect your children, what would you do for grands? If you would hold and rock your sick children till they slept, what would you do for grands? There is no way to know until you hold the first one in your arms.

    One suggestion (my grands are 18 and 13, so I’ve learned a bit), don’t stand between Elliot and sadness. Stand beside him, cry with him and help him learn how to heal his heart. He will be stronger and more compassionate for having your example.

    Enjoy the ride Grammy – it’s a lot of fun!
    Chris S in Canada (aka Mimi)
    (click the world – Welcome to It Elliot)

  70. What a wonderful love letter. Little Elliot doesn’t know yet what kind of fierce McPhee army is around him, but he will learn.

    There is nothing like having a grandchild and there is no way to prepare for the first one. If you would kill to protect your children, what would you do for grands? If you would hold and rock your sick children till they slept, what would you do for grands? There is no way to know until you hold the first one in your arms.

    One thought, (my grands are 18 and 13, so I’ve learned a bit), don’t stand between Elliot and sadness. Stand beside him, cry with him and help him learn how to heal his heart. He will be stronger and more compassionate for having your example.

    Enjoy the ride Grammy – it’s a lot of fun!
    Chris S in Canada (aka Mimi)
    (click the world – Welcome to It Elliot)

  71. After reading this I realized that all the thoughts and feelings, and emotions I have felt seven times now, have finally been expressed. Being a grandmother is the best of all worlds. You get to love beyond measure without the worries that come with parenting. Lovely.

  72. He is utterly gorgeous and is already smiling. I swear, he’ll have your sense of humor.
    I attended my friend’s labor and birth of her baby daughter on Easter morning, and I’m still flying high from the experience.
    Plus, I midwifed four baby goats last week, so birth and babies are on my mind.
    Yours, of course, is the best dressed so far.

  73. Such a handsome little man! Becoming a grandparent is about the best thing in the world. Just you wait, it keeps getting better and better. Mine are 2 & 9; the 9 yr old is getting a little too cool for it, but when he was little and as his little brother still does… the minute they see me and break into the biggest smile, chant “Nana, Nana” and come running in for a hug? There just isn’t much that can beat it.

  74. Such an eloquent missive to your grandson, but you forgot three things:

    1.) Elliot, you WILL learn how to knit!
    2.) Especially if you grow up to have size 14 feet.
    3.) Millie wants you to give that blanket back. She thinks it is hers.

  75. As many have already said – that is a beautiful, heartfelt post for your grandson and for all of us who feel so close to you and your family.
    Thank you

  76. Yay! The blanket is gorgeousness wrapped around perfectness, held by tremendousness, photographed by awesomeness! So grateful that you all are well and good luck for all those first times Meg. The first time my first baby vomited up some breastmilk I was ready to rush to emergency by ambulance! Lucky it was just an overfill tummy and a phone call to a mum sorted us out. No fever or othersymptoms so we went back to sleep all was well but everything felt like life or death.we even slept in the room least likely to be hit by falling aeroplanes or cars running off the road. Crazy times!

  77. Dear Grammy- this beautiful post could be made into a story book- illustrated with excerpts. I would read it to my babies to explain the awe of a Grammy’s love.You touch us with your gifts.

  78. Congratulations to you and your family! Your grandson is adorable (his cheeks!) and the blanket you created for him is so very beautiful.

    Only one thing missing: I wonder when you finished the blanket for the wee one? (Not that it matters in the least, as evident from the love and joy in those photos!)

  79. Thank you for expressing so beautifully and precisely what has been in my heart since my first grandson Adam was born last November. I showed you a photo of him at the registration table at Madrona and you graciously and generously commented on his great beauty while possibly thinking, I’ve got too much to do to be doing this. And now you truly understand why I showed you, and how I felt. Love your ability to put emotions into words. Thanks again.

  80. Family makes the world go round and this was beautiful. My granny, who also loved lily-of-the-valley, died recently aged 100. I was so lucky to have her until I was 52! What a wonderful woman. Shortly before she died, she was thrilled to meet her 4th great-great-grandchild (yes, we were 5 generations for 8 years…!), my eldest daughter’s 2nd daughter and my own 4th grandchild. I hear you <3

  81. This is so beautiful! I’m actually crying so much I can barely see. I’m not a Granny nor am I even a Mum but I am an Auntie and Great Auntie. I remember setting eyes on my first nephew and remember (even though I was only 11, I was a very late surprise for my parents lol) feeling like I had been hit by a train, all these emotions, strong and fierce hit me all at once so much so my knees nearly buckled. There was love, happiness, protection, fear etc all wrapped up in a confusing muddle of emotions. I knew at that infinitesimal moment that I would lay down my live to protect this little red squashed but oh so perfect human. I felt an instantaneous bond, and such a feeling of rightness. It confused me, frightened me and worried me until I spoke to my Mum who just smiled at me and said you just felt all encompassing love. It’s normal, I remember just looking at her as if she was crazy! The same feeling happened each time a new niece or nephew was born. They are all adults now and the eldest among them are having their own children and I feel the same about their children. It’s more mellow now as I understand the feeling more but love them just as strong. I never knew Aunts could feel like this. I often wonder how parents then grandparents cope with the amount of emotions they must feel about their children/grandchildren. If I feel as much as I do it must be nearly overwhelming! Congratulations on your new grandchild and thank you for sharing this xxx

  82. Oh, Steph, glorious. The grandson, the post, and the blanket, all glorious. You and Elliot are blessed to have each other. Much joy, love and peace to you, him, Alex, Meg, and the whole clan. xoxo

  83. So incredibly beautiful… Elliott, the blanket, your words… you have me in tears! Elliott is a blessed baby to already be loved so much!

  84. Dear Stephanie, you have written the most beautiful post for your grandson. You have captured the thoughts and feelings of this Gran for my now 5 grandchildren. My “Tuesdays with Gran” are coming to a close as the youngest will be going to JK in the fall and it is a sad thought not to be seeing them as often. I cherish the time I have had with them for the past 14 years but it is so rewarding to see them grow into such wonderful people. Now I will see them less often at family gatherings, arenas and swimming pools! Thank you

  85. That post is so beautiful, it made me cry. I think we’re seeing another birth, of one excellent Grammy. Congratulations again to the whole family, looks like you have a spectacular new addition to your wonderful family. Thank you for sharing him with us. Meg, you do nice work, he gorgeous.

  86. Now I’m sitting on my back porch crying because you’ve captured so beautifully what being a grandparent is like. That grandchild of yours is looking fit and content in his wonderful blanket.

  87. What a tenderly written, lovingly voiced adoration and love for this tiny new member of your family. I have felt those emotions and had some of the same thoughts with my own grandchildren (and great-grandchildren), but could never put that in words as you have so eloquently (sp?) done.

  88. Congrats on becoming a Grand-mother! You will be spectacular loving that little one! A perfect baby blanket for a perfectly lovely and perfect Grand-child. Love to your, now larger, family.

  89. Elliot is so beautiful, thank you for sharing his picture with The Blog. A few tears may have mingled with my coffee while reading your lovely post and thank you for the privilege of sharing your joy.


    Stephanie, both this post and your previous one are beautiful love letters to pieces of your heart. Congratulations to your whole family on this new joy.

  91. Beautiful blanket, Steph. And grandchildren only get more fun as we get older. My grandgirls are 8 and 5 now. They’re my joy… And so much fun….

  92. Well My God I am going to have to stop reading Yarn Harlot at work – not that I’m not an even more ardent fan (and far away friend, so to speak) – but that the workplace is no place to do what I was just doing – hmmm, I would call that weeping – yup – I was weeping. Lay bare the best of all our souls, Stephanie, and there you are. Geez – my heart beats very hard and happily to be able to share this with you. I thank you, your family thanks you, and all of us thank you even more. It isn’t everyday one comes across a soul as wonderful as yours – and the links you forge with all of us by sharing. I only hope I honour you enough in my day to day. Ok, done weeping, nose blown, heart enlarged by your love for yours; in return I promise to show all of mine more love, passion and humanity. (Except for the housekeeping, that could get out of control if I don’t stay on top of it 🙂 ). Many Thanks, you show me such marvelous things, and you display humanity that is the best of all of us.

  93. This was the most beautiful love letter I’ve ever read. As the mother of two unconventional children, I can only pray and dream about grandchildren. Thank you for sharing Elliot with us. Blessings on you all. (sniffles)

  94. What a lovely baby, and a lovely letter. You’re touching immensity. You’re preparing me for the same amazing raft of emotions coming pretty soon — my son and his wife are expecting in November — and I already feel that I can touch the stars.

  95. And for the second post in a row, the tears are rolling down my cheeks. You have a way with words and a way with love. Elliot is a lucky wee man. Megan a lucky daughter and mum.

  96. Everything is just beautiful, baby & blanket, parents, 3 maternal grandparents, extended family, aunties and even little Penny. I need to mention beautiful blanket again.

  97. You’re killing me with waterworks, McPhee. 🙂 You’re such a lovely writer and it’s a pleasure to see your joy for Elliot and Meg and your gorgeous work of love for them. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  98. Could you please stop making me cry everytime I read your blog 🙂 At least the last entries brought tears to my eyes, you have a wonderful gift with words, although I do cherish your blog always the postings about the birth and your grandson touched me deep. Also I am nearly your age they make me feel old, even if my youngest is two, it reminds me I could be a grandmother too, All my best wishes to the family again!

  99. There’s so much here I could speak to and that I feel for, but all I can say is Thank you, for sharing your love for Elliot, your beautiful words, your gift and your magic. Thank you.

  100. I’m so full of joy for you and your family. A beautiful post, and a spectacular blanket are not surprizing, but I still felt the need to comment. Congratulations, love and best wishes!

  101. What a stunningly beautiful post for him to be able to read as an adult, and know how loved he is. Also, you should be teaching master classes in blanket knitting, because I know many of us would kill to have that skill! Next book maybe? Seriously. Any amount of money. You name it, we’ll pay it.

  102. Damn, woman – two posts in a row so beautifully written, so perfectly expressive and so profoundly, deeply loving that they brought me to tears. Much joy and few tears to wee Elliott and his entire family, many blessings and love surround you from your blog. Thank you (again and again) for sharing your life and love with us.

  103. A lovely tribute to both grandmotherdom and the beautiful heirloom you have created for him.

    I look forward to your posts as you discover the rare charm of a boy baby (since you’ve only had girls)– like his ability to pee in your face and laugh while you change his diaper–

    I am also trying to balance work commitments and being at the birth of my granddaughter who is due to arrive in a couple of weeks, scared I might be caught in the two weeks early web that shook your Dallas world.

    and maybe one of these days I’ll start something spectacular for her for posterity, though I’m sure you will continue to hold the world record for spectacular-ity forever with that gorgeous blanket.


  104. Wonderful to read about Elliot’s gorgeous blanket (the different borders, and the reason for each section’s design): a perfect gift for a perfect wee gift!

  105. Another post that needs to come with a “tissue warning”! I love that your family is “hard to break into”. What a gift.

    And go Penny go! turn Steph into a dog person, I have hope! 🙂

  106. That is one of the most beautiful posts I have every read, Ms. McPhee. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson, and kudos for being able to transmit, so clearly and elegantly, the love you and your family have for him!

  107. The blanket is truly beautiful. As much as I adore seeing them all laid out and flat, they truly look best when wrapped around one who is loved.

  108. Oh my gosh, Dear Stephanie,
    He is such a beautiful, beautiful baby! And I know about these things because I had two beautiful babies, too. He is going to bring so much joy to each of your lives! I’m glad he and Megan both came through with flying colors. And that baby blanket is the absolute bomb! Congratulations to everyone, the aunties, too! I’m sure they’re about to bust their buttons, too.

  109. So beautifully written! Congratulations on your new grandson. He is wonderful and perfect. The blanket is amazing, too! He is lucky to be so loved.

  110. Here I am, sitting at my desk on my tea break, tears running down my cheeks at the absolute beauty of these words, the blanket and all of its meaning, and the happiness of everyone that loves that wee boy. Congratulations to all of you –

  111. A beautiful blanket for a beautiful baby … two masterpieces there, and a masterpiece of a blog post!
    I have two daughters, aged 25 and 26 …. so was interested to hear of the joys of grandmotherhood, though it’s not round the corner. …
    Blessings and love to you all!

  112. A beautiful baby, a beautiful blanket and a beautiful post, Becoming a grandmother was the most wonderful surprise to me, I thought I would be quite fond of them, like a pet, but was overwhelmed by the feelings. Love from a bit of the blog!

  113. Beautiful, beautiful blanket for a beautiful, beautiful boy. You summed up perfectly what it’s like to be a grandma. I feel the same way about my grandsons – so much joy, so much more relaxing than being a mom.

  114. He is beautiful, the blanket is beautiful, and so is your writing. This post has made my eyes a teensy bit moist.

  115. Such lovely pictures! Elliot has the sweetest looking cheeks, I would be kissing them constantly.
    I love how the baby blanket turned out, it’s beautiful and so cozy looking.
    I am curious about the border of ring lace – is this a stitch pattern you invented, or does it already exist? I tried searching for ‘ring lace’ but came up with wedding ring shawls. If anyone knows where I can find directions for this ‘ring lace’ pattern, or knows it by another name, please leave a comment to my comment. 🙂

  116. His eyebrows are amazing but I particularly like his jowls, I suspect they and ones like them are what cause the pinching of cheeks by elderly relatives. Scrumptious.

  117. Such a loving and beautiful tribute to your glorious grandson. He is wrapped up in a blanket of such thoughtfulness, I am moved to tears.

  118. Congratulations to you all on the birth of your precious grandson, Elliot, he is a true gift from God! The blanket is just beautiful and such a wonderful family heirloom. I’m sure Elliot will truly appreciate the family background as he gets older. Blessings to you all. I’m the proud ‘Nana’ of two handsome grandsons, now 7 and 3! You have truly summed up the true meaning and feelings of becoming a grandparent. Thank you! God bless you all.

  119. Oh, my. Congratulations! I’ve not been following blogs as much, but Lucy posted it on Facebook and I’m so glad I saw it. You’re a grandma now! He’s beautiful.

    Jeanne (KnittyBanter)

  120. Dammit. I have to get my computer fixed. The radiation from the screen is making my eyes leak something fierce.

    (I was warned I would need Kleenex, and I turned on the computer anyway.)

    Congratulations on arriving into a wonderful family, young man. Whatever you do as you grow up, I have only one piece of advice — don’t become allergic to wool.

  121. Wow, I feel fortunate to have stumbled on to your blog. I am not a knitter but I became a grandmother on March 7th. It is an amazing feeling and your recent collection of posts describe it to a T. You have a gift for the written word. I love this and the previous two posts.

  122. Dear Stephanie & Family – Your joy is our joy! Enjoy every single moment of Elliot’s days (and nights). The blanket is beautiful, and these posts are truly touched with grace. Thank you for sharing this wonderful event with us.

  123. Beautiful! He will cherish the words and the blanket in years to come. I love all the symbolism in the blanket design and the meaning of the magnitude of it. Again, many blessings to Elliot and your family with this new addition! We can’t wait to watch him grow too! Show us lots of pics, because we can’t get enough of them either!

  124. Aww heck. I’m not a crier, yet here I am with tears in my eyes.

    Such a beautiful post. And the way you explained the difference between being a mother and a grandmother was perfect.

    What a lucky (and perfect!!) boy he is to be a part of your family.

  125. What a beautiful little baby, and so fortunate to have been born into such a loving family.
    Congratulations to you all!

  126. Baby powder under the fingernails – that way you can see what you are cutting. Failsafe method taught in the maternity hospital where I had my first daughter 46 years ago.
    Your grandson is gorgeous and the beautiful shawl is absolutely perfect.

  127. Thank you for sharing. For the pictures of your beautiful grandson and his parents. And the blanket as well. Blessings to you all.

  128. We bloggers are there for each other during sad and difficult times, we come together. Wonderful now to have such a celebration of life, baby and blanket are both perfect and so full of love. Well done Grandma.

  129. That last paragraph…whew. Would that we all came into the world and were given such a shield, a written, verbalized statement of the love your family has for you. It’s not often I read something that just makes me want to sink to my knees in amazement and awe, but that last paragraph…I’ll never forget it. Thanks for putting it into words for Elliot, and for the rest of us!

  130. I thought your post about Elliot’s birth was the most touching thing I’d ever read….. now this! More tears…. thanks, again, for sharing!

  131. Since Elliot’s arrival, I’ve had to find a time and place to read your blog when I’m alone, and won’t be observed, because each post makes me cry. You are such a powerful writer. I’m a grandmother over 70, and I love how you’re captured things about this experience that haven’t been said, mostly about how feelings for your grandchild are different from your feelings for your own child, his mother. Those children we have ourselves are never displaced, just added onto. Thanks for sharing, thanks for writing, thanks for blogging. .

  132. Thank you Stephanie.
    I am not yet a grandmother, but disabled, and have always been afraid of all I will not be able to do!
    You have reminded me of all that I may one day be able to experience. Thank you. x

  133. Oh, that is all just so beautiful. The description of the blanket is absolutely amazing and it is just so wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  134. How do you do it? How do you manage to express yourself so beautifully? How do you manage to knit so beautifully?
    Thank you for sharing it all with us. Much joy and good health to Elliot and the rest of your family! He’s gorgeous!

  135. Have to get control of myself. You express exactly what it is like to become the grand. Lots and lots of fun, hopes and dreams and not so much of the worry.
    I have 2 grands and today is the day my family is celebrating my youngest grand’s 10 birthday. I find that they went by is a slow blink.

  136. Your feelings so pure!

    I was often told prior to my own children that I would learn there is an even greater love when you are gifted with a child, I am so happy to report that was true, my capacity to love increased with each of my sons and it is pure love, love no matter what!

    I see through your love letter that I have more joy and love to come. Your words are a harbinger of joy to those fortunate to anticipate a new life.

    Imprint this joy on your heart for a day that you may need to be cheered up, it works every time!

  137. Congratulations to you and all the family. What a beautiful baby and love letter. Enjoy these very special days.

  138. That was beautiful!! You made me cry. Though I have had those same thoughts about my grandchildren, you said it like I never could have. Kudos Grammy! He is a very lucky little man.

  139. Although I realize that you really don’t have enough to do already, here is a thought – when my granddaughter was born (on my birthday!!!), I started writing letters to her in a blank book. They record her progress as she has grown (she is 2 now), things that I want her to know, lessons I have learned and want to pass down, but most of all, how much she is loved. Yes, I knit like crazy for her (red hair, gray eyes & bug’s ear cute) but I want her to have my words when I’m not there any more to give them to her. You have beautiful words. You knit marvelous things which will be loved and cherished, but your **words**!!! Your blog entry above is evidence enough of that. Just something to consider…. (and thanks for sharing your words with us!!)

  140. I had to wait a while after reading this to stop crying. It was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, not just the knitting journey of that amazing blanket, but also the beginning of THIS journey with your new bundle of grand-baby love. My s/o asked why I was crying reading your blog, instead of chuckling like I ususally do. He’s not a parent; I don’t know that he’ll ever understand, no matter how many times I try to tell him, but he wishes you and your family well too.

  141. Ah, Steph, how lovely. I also have a new grandson, born at home in December in the USA. I got to hold the flashlight.

  142. AWE So sweet.
    I ‘m afraid I have not been following you much. I forget to look for your posts.
    Wish there was a way to get them sent to my Email!

  143. What a lovely welcome for your grandson. They are as mesmerizing at 3.5 years as they are as newborns… it’s the most amazing and wonderful thing. (And, OMG, those CHEEKS!)

  144. You are so right in saying he is beautiful. Being a grandmother is such a gift and privilege. Our beautiful Lilly is 6, and we have become a huge part of her life…we get to send her off into school in the morning, as well as watching her step down from the school bus. Our son is a truck driver and her mom went back to work this year.
    Yes, you are permitted to simply stare and marvel at your new grandson. Being grandma is the best!

  145. Your words express what is in my heart so perfectly. I don’t have daughters to share the birth experience with but I am a fierce lover and protector of my 3 grands! Congratulations and welcome to the club! It is the best!

  146. Love!
    Welcome to the best group ever! Being a grandparent is wonderful.
    I have always said that my grandchildren have me heart and soul. Seeing my child hold their child is overwhelmingly emotional every time. I am blessed with five beautiful grandchildren.

  147. Congratulations on becoming a Grandparent! Also for that wonderful sentence about our children being our hearts walking around outside our bodies. That’s a perfect description, and just as applicable for our grandchildren. We must get a new heart every time we get a new child or grandchild and they’re all wandering about. What a lovely thought. 🙂
    Now to the question I haven’t read here yet – pattern for that amazing blanket? In the works? Or even, what pattern did you use for the final edging? Or the ring border?
    Yes, there certainly are a lot of rows when you knit a border or edging side to side around the edges of a center piece. And you have to keep turning….or learn to knit backwards. It’s a great motivator, lol.
    Enjoy your beautiful new grandson. May you have more of them. 🙂

  148. So beautiful, the baby and the blanket. I can’t find the post, did you tell us what yarn you used for it? Thanks.

  149. Congratulations, what a beautiful baby and family. I am 33 and terrified to become a mother because it can be such a tough world. You and your family gives me hope that love is really all you need.

  150. Congratulations! And I am in tears because no one can explain what it feels like to be a grandmother. They think you are CRAZY!…until they are and then they get it. So glad you got it! (seriously I can’t stop crying. Hope everything is spelled right cause I can’t see!) May your family be blessed beyond measure!

  151. An adorable and precious baby boy! This post is absolutely beautiful! As a grandmother, I echo your sentiments. Nothing twists the heart like a grandchild. Also, the blanket is wonderful! I enjoyed the story behind each section. Hugs and love to you, your family, and this little bundle!

  152. I just found your blog after years of knitting. Apologies for taking so long.

    My son was born two years (almost) to the day before your grandson. It’s a beautiful thing watching a mom turn into a grandmother. Apologies for my late congratulations.

    My own grandmother passed away just two week before my son was born. That mix- the young and the old, the new and the gone, the joy and sorrow and all the love and tears… it’s big. Apologies for my late condolences on the loss of your mother.

    And love to you. I don’t know you. But I do. And, as I keep pressing the “older posts” button, I remember the power and the point of keeping a blog. Rock on.

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