Cherrell, on Kinship. Sling Diaries, Vol VII.
The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
Letters to Freya: Kinship
Peruvian, Spanish, German, Palestinian, and Italian from your Papas side; and Welsh, Danish, African American and possibly a handful of others I'm unaware of from my side.
So essentially Freya, you have little bit of everything.
I want you to know how beautiful it is to have such rich, cultural blood flowing through your veins.
And be proud of it.
It's important to know where you've come from.
To know the paths that were paved from those before you.
The struggles and the triumphs.
Your Gido comes from a large German/ Palestinian family. Six siblings in total.
Not many still speak the Arabic language but your Gido still knows a few words (only bad ones though), so we won't be having him teach you those any time soon.
You'll come to find that these family gatherings feel more like reception parties once we're all together.
Best of foods mixed with the best of times!
Dinner usually wraps up with a tumbler of scotch and a game (more like fifty games) of poker.
I don't usually partake.
I'm not good with cards, or scotch for that matter. But I am great at socializing.
Your Gido's been a hard worker raising your Papa, and your four uncles. Working double jobs so your Nana could stay home and homeschool.
It all paid off.
Your Papa's a brilliant man.
You get your Spanish, Peruvian, and Italian blood from your Nana.
She'll be your Spanish teacher one day. I'm determined to have the language carry on.
Your Papa and I should really be practicing ourselves.
Together we'll learn.
Your Nana is first generation, her parents came over from Peru.
Not knowing the English, her father had to go back through medical residency to be able to continue to practice as a physician here in the States.
"Ahhhhhh," he'll be having you say soon. Checking your ears, plotting your growth curve.
Maybe you'll be a doctor one day.
Your Gigi was a young mother.
She had me at 19 in Montana.
I was her tag along while she busted her butt through college in order to make a life for me, and later (3 years later) down the road, your uncle.
We'll take you to Montana one day soon. Meet all your distant relatives.
You'll understand and appreciate the Big Sky Country as your Papa and I have.
Had you been a boy, Llewellyn was on my list. Welsh.
Maybe for another.
Your Opa Joe isn't technically a blood relative, but he raised me as a daughter of his own.
I'm sure a blended family was not what he had in mind when he thought about his future family.
Two "white" parents with "black" children, till your tantes were born at least. Made some head turns.
He didn't have to.
But he did.
Even after him and Gigi separated. He stayed. And I'm so thankful he did.
You're his second grandbaby, and by the looks of the late night sewing sessions he's put in to make you your first quilt, I think you've pulled at his heart strings.
Opa Joe adds Indonesian, Dutch and Italian to your mix.
His Momma was teaching you a couple Dutch words the last time she was here.
"My, schatje", (little treasure) she would say.
You'll learn more.
All these paths were paved in preparation for your arrival.
This here, is the beginning.
Where your roots lie.
Our first date, the proposal, even our beautiful engagement pictures, right here on this very bridge.
Now, we stand as a family of three.
Building our own little legacy.
Follow along with Cherrell over on Instagram, @cherrelllynn, and The Sling Diaries on Pinterest.