The importance of warmth cannot be overstated, and the more I grow into my mothering self, the more I believe that. One of the twelve senses according to Steiner, warmth affects our well-being on both a physical and a soul level. It’s asserted that in small children, physical warmth is vital to the process of incarnation and strengthening of the body. Physical warmth is protective and allows the development of the young child to unfold at an appropriate rate. Think of a small child who is always chilly—he may not be able to focus his attention or energy on learning and developing because his being is continually trying to compensate for the lack of warmth, in much the same way that he would be distracted by hunger.
So I suppose it stands to reason that I’ve been feeling compelled to keep my family warm as the cold weather settles in. Marlowe is used to wearing layers in and out of the house, and Thalia is bare-headed so infrequently that she looks sort of funny without a hat. Even dear husband was gifted a set of long johns for his birthday. Much of what I make to keep us warm is knit, but I upcycling wool sweaters a lot too. Felted sweaters are a favorite material and find new life as hats, pants, booties, and lots more.
Warmth can also be embedded in our actions and the experiences we offer our children. I love the story of a little child’s evening warm milk and honey, and this is a wonderful take on emotional warmth with young children.
Edited 3/29/2012 to add a link to this great article on dressing babes.