I’ve had a love of old things for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite “old” things are vintage baby prams. Years before we had even considered children, I had to resist the urge to purchase one I found in an antique store. When I learned I was pregnant, it was one of the first things I started searching for.
I found our pram on craigslist in my homestate of North Carolina when my husband and I were living in San Francisco. The seller wanted $60 for it – a steal considering a new Silver Cross Balmoral pram runs in the thousands. Even with a few dents and dings, it was worth the cost of shipping to have it delivered to our flat in the city.
There’s a reason that prams aren’t commonly seen around town – they are huge, heavy and not very easy to navigate. I can’t even imagine how one would go about putting this thing in and out of a vehicle. We used to push ours around the hill streets of San Francisco and it was a true workout.
Despite its impracticality, I was bowled over by its beauty and eventually found a perfect purpose for it. We’ve used it as a bassinet in our bedroom for both of our children. It bounces on the leather strap joints in the most perfect way to soothe a half asleep baby back to bed. The mattress is firm, it’s the right height to grab a baby out of next to the bed and it’s just downright beautiful.
When we moved back from San Francisco, my husband tried to convince me to sell it instead of putting it on the moving truck, but I held my ground. Our first child had slept beneath its navy hood for many months and I was determined that all of my future children would too. Pulling it from the attic and putting it in our room before Arlo’s birth was one of the things that made his imminent arrival feel truly “real” for me.
When I finish this post, I will close my laptop and carry my sleeping son to the bedroom for the night where I will lay him down to sleep in the pram next to my bed. It’s such a lovely sight to see his small body, swaddled and sweetly sleeping against the large metal frame. It’s a sight that moves me enough to promise that I will haul this heavy, bulky, impractical, insanely gorgeous artifact of baby gear’s past wherever we might go next… if I’m lucky, Arlo won’t be my last baby to sleep beneath its hood.
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