Over the weekend, I participated in a ceremony to celebrate a friend's impending childbirth. What was special about the event was that it didn't focus on the baby; it focused on the mom-to-be.

There was a part of the ceremony where we each wrapped a portion of a long red ribbon around our left wrists, as a way to connect all of us to each other and to our pregnant friend. We tied the ribbon onto our wrists as we expressed our wishes for the baby, and we will cut them off when the baby is born. We also each received a candle that we will light when we hear our friend has gone into labor, as a way to support her from afar.

We painted heart-shaped rocks (an old collection that happened to fit perfectly with the theme!) with symbolic words and images for the mother to have around her during labor.

The ceremony was brief but lovely. The majority of the day was spent eating, catching up with girlfriends, and being present and encouraging for the mother-to-be.

We've lost touch with a lot of life-affirming and life-stage rituals that used to be traditional in our lives. The Mother Blessing or Blessingway is a tradition that I hope will become more widespread.

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