The Story Behind CLIFTON + PARK
As many of you know, I am the mother to three-Landen & Caroline (5 years old) and Parker (3 months old). This past year I decided to step away from teaching kindergarten in effort to spend more quality time with my children and husband-really get back to the basics of life and slow down. While being a stay-at-home mom is certainly fulfilling, I really felt a need for something more. Unable to put my finger on what it was I wanted to do, I continued to run my parent website,bblissful, as my only hobby.
During this time I was pregnant with our third child, Parker. After being at Good Sam on bed rest for three months with Landen and Caroline, I was excited to be experiencing more of a ‘typical’ pregnancy. Parker was born at 37 weeks and was perfectly fine until about an hour after delivering him. He began grunting and they found he was in respiratory distress. So off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) he went for what felt like the longest 10 days in our life.
After having gone through the experience of having a child in the NICU and settling in to our family of five, I still felt the need to do something more. I wanted to go beyond sharing encouraging stories about parenthood from behind a desk and physically do something that would fulfill a creative need but would also brighten someone’s day. Which is when I came up with the Clifton+ Park project idea for parents in the NICU.
Every time a parent leaves the hospital when visiting their child in the NICU, their heart is still there when they walk out the door. Even after their child graduates from the NICU, the hospital/nurses/doctors hold a special place in their heart. So with that in mind, I’ve created a coordinate necklace to help NICU parents feel connected when they can’t physically be with their child(ren) in the NICU but then after graduating it serves as a way to remember their journey.
I have named these necklaces the ‘Clifton+Park Collection’ after my two pregnancies. Clifton because the window of the room I first stayed in with my twins looked out to Clifton Avenue and ‘Park‘ because our nurse that delivered us kept calling Parker ‘Park’ out of habit because her grandfather was named Park (she even inadvertently wrote it on his little baby book birth certificate 🙂
It is my hope to sell my hand stamped necklaces in order to fund the Clifton + Park NICU Project. Each item is $18.00. This covers the cost of the item made and shipping and provides necklaces/key chains to Good Samaritan NICU parents. Having taught at a Jewish day school for 8 years, I learned that in Hebrew, the related word chaya means “life” or “long life.” I find the meaning behind the number 18 very fitting since so many babies are fighting for their “life” while in the NICU and all that the NICU parents, nurses, and doctors want for the babies in the NICU is to have a “long and healthy life. “
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to give back to something that has left a mark on our family. If you are interested in having one of my hand stamped pieces, please visit my page where you can make your personalized purchase. If you would like to support this project, feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sharing this is always appreciated!