The Great Altoids Tin Challenge #8

So, you’re wondering what I got in my Altoids Tins? This particular one came from the one who loves green — which explains the green highlighter used to write my treasured “Gift Tag.”

He even borrowed a little ingenuity from this Origami Master Brother to make an “envelope” that was a shirt — without a tie, because this one is for a girl.

Inside were little scraps of paper… because, “You’re a writer, Mom.” Of course.

Also included was a bottle of Grapefruit Essential Oils… OK, he didn’t actually make this part of the gift — but we’ll let it slide for thoughtfulness. Grapefruit is my favorite scent. After each of my babies, I suffered from a medium case of the Baby Blues. I found the care I needed in an Aromatherapy Apothecary store, where the essential oils are kept behind a counter — like pills in a drug store — not in little bottles you pick yourself. You tell the girls in the store your “problem” and they mix a concoction for you — dry skin, acne, anxiety, depression, wrinkles, labor pains, back ache — you name it, there’s an essential oil remedy for you. They girls there study plants, and they have tomes of research to aid them in creating your remedy. The whole experience is quite charming.

Every year, my husband walks into that store at Christmas time, and asks for “Susie’s card,” and buys me a selection from that list. (You can do this to0, and use one of my many remedies they have already built for me — for you — they’re timeless!). My index card, dates back to 1996, with handwritten notes on all of the remedies they have made for me. Many of the remedies are listed in the above paragraph.

I love the ancient wisdom in these essential oils that have been around for centuries.

For the Postpartum Blues, the essential oils called for are Grapefruit, Rose (quite expensive — so just a drop) myrrh and Frankincense. I’ve always liked the fact that the 3 kings brought Jesus a gift of Frankincense and Myrrh — and that’s what goes into the Postpartum Blend. I wonder, if that gift was really for Mary, to ease her stress for all that she had to deal with at that time — giving birth in a barn, feeding shepherds, and eventually fleeing because Herod was out to kill all the babies.

Notice that I call the Postpartum remedy “care.” The aromatherapy gave me a means to care for myself at that critical time when I learned how to find my balance each time our family grew. (How would I manage the grocery store — the library? One in a sling, one in the cart, and one by my side holding my hand… and then the fourth.)

I dropped this postpartum essential oil blend into a mason jar, full of Epsom Salts and and equal amount of olive oil, and packed it in my bag to go to the hospital. After birth, when I was able to take my first shower, in the hospital, I took the jar, unscrewed the lid, and slathered the salt scrub all over my body. Smelled wonderful. The citrus smell from the grapefruit was always so uplifting. Then, I showered as usual, and the scent would linger.

I would use that scrub every day, as long as the scrub lasted. It was my ritual. This was my way of caring for myself at a time when so many others, much more helpless, needed me.  Occasionally, I will have a bottle made for me when I want to remember how lucky I was to have these babies.

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