Blueberry Girl Blessing

After I had children, I became even more aware of the passing of time. In the midst of our busy lives, it’s sometimes a challenge to be present, to really enjoy the moments, the milestones, the miracles.

I’m a firm believer in the power of small celebrations and rituals. They help us to slow down and pay attention, to reconsider the ordinary and celebrate the extraordinary. Rites of passage help us to honor the present moments and also provide us with ways to mark milestones and come together with our communities.

For both my older children I had done “Baby Blessings” with circles of women dear to me. The ceremonies were based on the picture book The Twelve Gifts by Charlene Costanzo. Each of my friends, the real-life fairy goddessmothers, bestowed one of the “twelve gifts” from the book and wrote letters that would be opened upon the child’s rite of passage into adulthood.

I did the Baby Blessings for my oldest two while they were still toddlers. Living overseas, working on the novel, I somehow did not arrange for a Blessing for my youngest. I kept planning to have it on one of our visits home, but that time was always so hectic.

Then we moved back to the States and bought/remodeled Casa del Lobos and life became more complicated and chaotic. The youngest will be four in a few months, and I knew that it was time.

I could no longer call it a Baby Blessing, so what to call it? She’s spunky, smart, and spirited and keeps up with her older siblings (plus she loves blueberries), so I decided to use Neil Gaiman’s Blueberry Girl as the touchstone. Voila! Her Blueberry Girl Blessing was born!

Again I asked women dear to me, this time accompanied by their children, to attend the ceremony dressed in shades of blue and bearing blueberry treats to share. They came with letters and gifts, and we read from Blueberry Girl (I had divided the book up into chunks that each woman read while passing around a bowl of blueberries that my daughter later devoured).

I wanted to include the other children in this blessing, so I purchased animal-shaped watering cans, and after the grown-ups’ blessings, I instructed them to think of happy thoughts and pour the magical invisible blessings onto my 3-year-old’s head. The kids (aged 2-7) performed with surprising solemnity and smiles. It was precious.

At the end, myย  daughter offered all the participants their own blueberry (blue glass) bead strung on a necklace of hemp as a gift of thanks. Then we shared blueberry mimosas, blueberry tea, cakes, cookies, and fruit. It was short, sweet, and perfect. My blueberry girl finally had her blessing.

Photo by 8 Eyes Photography

As the third child, she has always shared the spotlight (although she has no trouble with getting people’s attention). However this was her special day dedicated to honoring the little person she is becoming, as well as laying the foundation for a circle of women that she can call upon when she gets older. I think she felt cherished and honored, and I hope that she felt a part of something larger than herself.

“Truth is a thing she must find for herself,
precious, and rare as a pearl;
Give her all these, and a little bit more,
Gifts for a Blueberry Girl.”
from Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman
with beautiful illustrations by Charles Vess

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. Sheโ€™s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on @valya

8 thoughts on “Blueberry Girl Blessing”

  1. Kat says:

    Blessings on her! I love this ritual you described. And the book – I gave it to my goddaughter, upon the occasion of her being born.

  2. Na says:

    so, so wonderful, Valya! lovely, lovely, lovely.

    i bought “Blueberry Girl” for my daughter when it came out, and we’ve read it many, many times. i don’t have the blessing of a circle of women to gather for her, so reading it will have to do, and we’ll read this post together.

    and i need to wipe some tears from my eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ~Leigh says:

    This is precious. May your Blueberry Girl be blessed always.

  4. cherie says:

    I give this book to everyone of my friends when they have a daughter. I read it every year to both of my Blueberry girls on their birthdays as well.

  5. Margot says:

    What a charming ritual. It fits so perfectly for your blueberry girl.

  6. Melissa says:

    You created a beautiful celebration of Little Miss Soon-To-Be Four!

    I am happy that I could be part of the circle to honor her.


  7. Eric G. says:

    great post! I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Herman Cottillion says:

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for putting up.

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