The life-changing magic of the co-worker hand-me-down

photo by Tara Todras-Whitehill (baby foot by me)

photo by Tara Todras-Whitehill (baby foot by me)

Once upon a time, one million years ago (actually eight), my wonderful colleague Suze—who has impeccable taste and three beautiful boys—passed her "lucky" boy bassinet down to our colleague (and my work BFF) Erin.

When Erin's baby Alex outgrew the gorgeous white wicker beauty, she passed it along, with Suze's blessing, to me. It arrived on my doorstep encased impeccably in bubble wrap.

And about nine or so weeks into my maternity leave, right around the time baby Will busted his way out of his Miracle Blanket, I sent the bassinet back to Suze to pass along to another friend who'd just come home from the hospital with her own little bundle of boy.

This, my friends, is family-friendly work culture at its best. It wasn't ordered by management, or written up as policy. It was just a nice thing one veteran mom did for a newbie, with a wink about its magic to turn even the fussiest boys into good sleepers. That sweet little bassinet helped me know:
- It's okay to pass along parenting advice right in the middle of the work day.
- When you're out on leave, it can be nice to have a little quotidien reminder of your temporarily-arrested work life. I thought of Suze and Erin a million times over those weeks away, and in some small way, that helped me bridge the two worlds of work and home.
- There would, believe it or not, come a time when I'd made it through these early days and had my act together enough to repay the kindness for some other more-new-than-me mom. And I did. Luckily for me, the mini fridge I gave to Rebecca to use for storing her pumped milk didn't require bubble wrapping!