The Sling Diaries:Tradition



Our boy turned two years old. It was a day to celebrate and so we did – on the field by our house, with family and friends. With some late summer sun, with some bunting, a barbeque. It was a lovely afternoon.


Albie had a great party – socialising, stacking blocks, playing with a quickly-favoured windmill.  The rest of us talking, laughing, enjoying delicious food together, admiring the children -older ones, brand new ones and bumps on-the-way.





I love the return I am making in myself to the Mum who I knew as a child. I will be mid-flurry and suddenly catch myself engaged in traditions that I know are from her. And it’s such an unexpected gift. To know not only that I carry pieces of who she was along with me today, but also that I can still spot them. And so it was with the Birthday Cake.


I remember vividly from my childhood many, many of my cakes – the Castle, the Horse, the Old Woman in the Shoe, the Sewing Basket, the Hickory Dickory Clock. Home-made expressions of love through late-night icing.  I fashioned Albie an Airplane Cake – as if it could have been anything else…. (well, that said, I suppose it could have been a Heart Cake. Although carving that up with a knife would have been a bit too close to the truth for a simple birthday sweet treat!)


I was potentially more excited than Albie to show it to him.

When we all stood around and sung Happy Birthday to my boy slung on my hip, I cried. Boom, just like that. Embarrassing tears that if you’d asked me what they were for, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you exactly. My heart had been in my throat all day, and in that moment, it jumped out. Love and grief and great, great happiness all wrapped up in one.



And, can I point out the utility of that sling? That’s me cutting up cake with a two year old on my hip. All in a day’s work people. All in a day’s work.






At the risk of this sounding like the Oscars, lemme also use this as a chance to shout out a big thank you (the tears got in the way of any on the day),  to Jason for assistance in the kitchen and on the grill; to Anthea for baking the cake from which I carved aviation genius and to the whole Brown family for busting down the line to be here; to Aunty Leone, Amie and Josh for going above and beyond to be here; and to the Keylocks for also being totes awesome. And thanks to everyone else too – you are all awesome. Like seriously. xxxxx

Photos by the supremely talented and totally lovely Victoria Vincent.

I wear Albie in a Sakura Bloom Essential Silk Sling in Sandstone/Pebble

This post is part 5 of a 6 part series for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries. We are one of 15 families documenting our babywearing experience over a six month period. You can follow the Sling Diaries on PinterestFacebook or Tumblr


  1. Looks like a brilliant day, Sarah. Loving Albie’s aviator cap and goggles, and of course THE CAKE! 🙂 Happy Birthday Albie! (He’s going to make Jean Batten proud one day)

  2. So it was you guys who put up the awnings on the field… I’d been wondering… 🙂
    Wow, that looks like a wonderful day. And a really cool cake!

  3. I totally get that crying-on-the-birthday thing – love and grief and immense happiness all together. i do it every year, with each child. They are too precious. (Also, I LOVE Albie’s name!)

  4. Sarah I came over from Sakura Bloom’s facebook page…Happy belated Birthday to your sweet Albie!! I can tell he is so loved. 🙂 I enjoyed the lovely photos of his party…so much happy in them. 🙂 And I had fun reading about how you grew up with creative cakes and you shared the tradition with your son. And when you said you cried as they sang “Happy Birthday” to Albie…I got choked up. Big milestones are wonderful, but hard on our mama-hearts. Definitely looking forward to keep up with you and your adorable family.


  5. Happy Birthday Albie. You certainly made me teary reading this Sarah and I wasn’t even there!
    Looks like a really fun day. Treasured memories for Albie.

  6. Hi… I am not really sure how I found your blog, but I just want to say thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your story. My daughter, Lucia, has a few CHD and the process has been crazy. She is turning 2 at the end of March and I connect so much with your tears at the birthday cake…I cried last year after telling everyone how thankful I was to have my sweet baby and I am thinking I may do it again this year. Lucia has Pulmonary Valve Stenosis in her main pulmonary artery and the left and right branches. She is classified as severe. She has had 2 surgeries already, but her doctors are telling us that another surgery is around the corner. I don’t feel ready. How can you ever be? It is true that you never know what strength you have until you are faced with the worst. Anyways, thank you. I know my husband and I are going to get through it and our baby will be fine, but the journey is hard. Bless your beautiful son and all of these babies. Take care,
    Emmy Joy, from Buffalo, NY

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