Monday, August 23, 2010

The Perfect Gift

 Today is my birthday.  Several months ago I bought three Pendleton muchacho blankets commemorating Oregon's sesquicentennial.  They're beautiful blankets that come with a beautifully written letter from Oregon's current First Lady.  I'd been waiting for the right occasion to present them to my children.  I didn't want to give them to them for Christmas as they would get lost in the shuffle.  Nor for their birthdays or other special occasion as they would hardly be welcomed instead of a desired toy or video game.  This morning I decided that my birthday would be fitting. They opened their boxes as I read the First Lady's letter just after breakfast.  I could tell they got it, each according to their age, and that it was a gift joyfully and proudly received by all.  Throughout the day I noticed my son proudly laid his on his bunk bed.  My older daughter used hers as a cloak of invisibility.  My youngest as swaddling for her favorite doll.
After dinner and birthday cake, they presented their gift to me – the Pendleton robe pictured above.  It is described below.  As a long time collector of Pendleton and other trade blankets, this exchange of gifts was very touching.  I was especially proud that my children enjoyed the richness of their blankets and were able to keep it a secret all day that they too had a blanket for me.  Especially as I read the letter explaining the tradition of exchanging blankets to show respect.

Our Father’s Eyes is a tribute to the men who watch over and guide us as we journey through this earth. Diamonds represent the eyes of a father. They are symbols of the clarity and wisdom with which he watches over and guides his children. Within the diamonds, outstretched arms of the father reach to embrace his children. Arrowheads signify the unwavering protection a father provides for his family and the direction that he offers to his sons and daughters. In traditional Native American symbolism, arrows pointing to the right offer protection and those pointing left ward off evil. Feathers signify the spirit and creative force as well as honor. On the left the spirit feathers of the father await birth. On the right, feathers remind us that our father continues to watch over and send us his prayers after he passes on. The traditional step pattern echoes a father’s lifesteps from birth, to adulthood, to old age and finally to the spirit world. The wave design represents water and the ebb and flow of life’s ups and downs through which our father offers his love and support.

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