One of my dearest friends from college is due to have her fourth baby in a few weeks. We were hoping to have a chance to throw a little baby shower for her, but, well, with nine kids between the three of us, it was hard to work it out logistically. The best thing of all is just gathering for a mini getaway/catch-up since it is so much harder to keep in touch over the distance these days. So, the three of us (my two best girlfriends and I) met up this past weekend late Sunday evening. We drove to Max Patch, which is a good midway meeting point for us, hiked up to the grassy bald in the dark, carrying a cold dinner to share and a camp stove so we could brew some coffee. We bundled in our sleeping bags and talked under the stars cupping steaming mugs. By nearly midnight, we packed up and headed back to our homes, crawling back into bed at nearly 2 am. But these gatherings are the best. They are life-giving, better than a full night’s sleep. Worth 3 hrs of driving (roundtrip). This is the last baby my friend will have, these are the last days her tummy will be swollen like a full moon, and it felt right to commemorate this somehow. In the past months I’ve slowly knitted her baby a little wooly sleep sack, in neutral colors with wooden buttons, as well as a little newborn “pilot cap.” Both patterns were an absolute delight to knit and I’m so excited to snuggle this last little man-cub in his woolens. I remember when this friend of mine had her first baby, and how strange to think we are all nearing the end of our child-birthing years. Truly, they are hard years, but somehow the most glorious, too.