The Layette

September 16, 2019


Let’s get something straight right off the bat…I do not sew! Tried it once and learned you must baste BEFORE you sew. Got no time for that! That being said, we recently saw the closing of a Charlotte landmark that stirred lots of emotions in me… Mary Jo’s Cloth store. You may be wondering why that would impact someone who doesn’t sew? Glad you asked!


27 years ago, I was pregnant with my son, Ryan, and a friend offered to make the layette (do they still have those?). I was thrilled because that meant I could have exactly what I wanted and not something from a store shelf. We drove up from Columbia where I was living at the time and walked into the most overwhelming store I have ever been in. My friend guided me to the baby section, and I instantly became sick to my stomach. Pink and blue and Barney and Thomas and Rugrats and Blues Clues and Big Bird EVERYWHERE! Did I say every shade of pink and blue? No doubt hormones played a part, but I had to get out of there!


I left that department and just blindly started wandering around the massive store and a woman walked up and asked if she could help me. I just blurted out that I was there to find material for a layette for my son’s nursery and I felt so stupid, but at 35 years old, that cutesy baby stuff was just not cutting it. She laughed and started walking with me asking me questions. Within about 10 minutes I had the most beautiful bolt of cloth I had ever seen! I thanked her for her help and returned to my friend. I showed her my find and with a puzzled look, she asked, “Is that for the nursery?” Yep, and I loved it…and so she made it!


At the checkout, the woman (now my hero!) walked up and greeted us. My friend recognized her and told me that Mary Jo herself had helped me.


She never knew my name. We talked for no more than 15 minutes. She changed my life! As a soon to be mom of “advanced maternal age” (dubbed by my Dr.), I was feeling old and out of place with the other moms in their 20’s. Those colors and cute little patterns only reminded me that I was an old mom! Mary Jo almost instinctively knew how to help me…a total stranger; so, I was very sad to learn of the closing of her store in August. I wonder how many other people she helped find just the right fabric for just the right occasion.


I wonder if I have ever impacted someone that way? Do you ever wonder that about yourself? Being a wonderer from way back, I wonder if people felt that way about Jesus? Not those who saw the miracles, but those who just came upon Him and heard a story or saw Him wandering through their village. There are people who pass through our lives every day…some make a huge difference without even knowing it. I want to be one of those people…don’t you? Each of us has that opportunity every Sunday morning when we may be greeting a guest worshiping right beside us.


Laurie Carter

Communications Director

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