‘It’s bittersweet’: Rainbow baby inspires mom to create cherished art out of sentimental baby clothes

More Stories like:

“I was lost in thought one afternoon, wondering where time went, as I was putting away my younger daughter Leina’s outgrown baby clothes—my rainbow baby and last child. It’s bittersweet: I am loving how beautifully my two girls are growing, but putting away their little clothes brought back the sweetest memories of when they were babies—the hard, exhausting, wonderful days that will never come back.

The white preemie pajama with tiny flowers was Leina’s coming home outfit. Although that was just a few months ago then, the sight of the fabric made my heart sink a little. She was growing so fast, and this soft infant pajama was the first thing I carefully chose for her the day I knew we were having another girl. I put it away in a box where I had kept a favorite baby sweater of my older daughter Laurie, for over a year.

Louma/pokidots.com
Louma/pokidots.com

Is it only me, or do all parents have visions of their children’s entire lives flash before them? I imagined my girls in school, graduating, traveling, moving away, working, having their own dreams, maybe getting married and having their own babies… I could envision their grown-up faces and their grown-up smiles, one with dimples, and the other with apple cheeks.

Louma/pokidots.com

At that moment, being a fashion illustrator was convenient for me: the next thing I knew, I had skipped work and made drawings of these daydreams I had of my girls. The natural way to finish these drawings was by dressing them up with the very baby clothes that led me here.

Louma/pokidots.com

Now my precious baby memories are pieces of art hanging in my girls’ bedroom.

Louma/pokidots.com

A few months later, Pokidots! was born. I started preserving baby memories for other parents, into works of art, and I created new designs: a sailboat and a hot air balloon. They both represent adventure, like the adventure of life and childhood.

Louma/pokidots.com
Louma/pokidots.com
Louma/pokidots.com
Louma/pokidots.com
Louma/pokidots.com

I am proud that I got to a point where parents trust me with their most precious baby clothes. I’ve worked with pieces that were kept for decades in memory boxes, others that were passed down two entire generations. I made custom pieces for angel babies, and I have been receiving custom orders that tell the unique story of each family and each child.

Louma/pokidots.com
Louma/pokidots.com

The keepsakes I create may look like pretty works of art to some, but to the parents involved, they mean so much more than just the art. They represent their journey through parenthood, sweet baby memories, and fleeting moments… A precious part of their lives that only they know. These glimpses of my clients’ lives give my work a wonderful sense of purpose. I love what I do, and I was lucky to witness and share many tears of joy and emotion from local parents when they saw their finished keepsakes.

Louma/pokidots.com

At home, my daughters, now 2.5 and 4 years old, watch me work and they love comparing the clothes I receive to the final pieces. They look up where the clothing details end up, like snaps and buttons. I tell them the stories behind the clothes I receive, and they always recommend adding glitter.

Louma/pokidots.com

I may not be saving lives, but I am truly grateful, every day, to be able to do what I do and make parents happy for a while—with my art and their memories.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Louma El-Khoury Salloum, the Seattle-based artist behind Pokidots.

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: