There are people whom one loves immediately and for ever. Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough. Nancy Spain
I am not a fan of attending baby or bridal showers.
Yes, I have hosted several. Yes, I always R.S.V.P and yes, I will be attending. Yes, I take a gift and yes, I thank the hostess for including me.
That being said, let me explain. First, after being a career Army wife, just imagine how many baby showers one is invited to? Seriously, think of all the young families and how many children they have. Each of those families is away from their home town friends and kinsfolk, so Army wives step in and fill that gap. You attend. You just do. You help them celebrate, you are their “family” so you show up with a smile.
Second, I loath the goofy , often times embarrassing parlor games.
Third, I never really enjoyed putting on stockings, the traditional pumps or sandals depending on the time of year, the pretty party dress to walk around someones’ living room, sit like a lady for 2.5 hours and drink weak coffee out of a proper cup and saucer with 99% of the people I have never met.
Fourth ( and this is just me grumbling), I can’t have the sugar laden punch and for some reason, often times said punch is served with globs of floating colorful sherbet. I can’t have the amazing, lush, array of desserts that are always, always served.
Most weird feeling of all, the opening of the gifts.
Let’s talk gifts, shall we?
I have done handiwork since I was 12 years old. I have practiced sewing, quilting, embroidery and as of the last 3 months, I am learning to crochet. I feel compelled to do my very, very best and make something with my own hands to give as an offering. The idea of a shower is to SHOWER the recipient with love & goodness. I want to be part of the celebration and join in the tradition of giving handwork made with love. I have been practicing for so long, that when the time comes to offer up a beautifully wrapped surprise I want the person to feel bathed in Grace with what I have made. I want them to know that they were thought about and I started making something just for them weeks, often times, months prior to the party. (Who knew it would take me so long to crochet a baby blanket?)
Here’s where the awkward part comes in, it’s not you, it’s me people, really.
I honesty want to make gifts for some folks. However, when said gift is opened in front of 28 other people who exclaim, “You MADE that”? It is a tad weird feeling. My face feels hot. My hands start sweating.
No, I did not make it to impress you or to “show off”. No, I don’t really want to make something for your twice removed cousin, I don’t even know you, let alone your cousin. (Whom I am sure is very nice.) No, I don’t sew for money. I’m truly sorry you “hate’ me for making something. THEN, to top it off, I never really know a sincere, pleasant way of saying, “Oh, your present of a “gift card” will be so nice for them to go to the store and buy something they want.”
I just want to take a moment out of my life and make something from my heart. I want to give a gift, just not the opening in front of people thing.
I was graciously invited to attend a baby shower. At first so excited to be included on their list of friends, then the worry about attending set in……… this past weekend I went and golly gee, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.
With the exception for my own daughter in law, I have not been to a shower in a few years.
The food. Holy Guacamole!!!! There was a Nacho Bar!! Really great choices and you got to build your own. In essence, no one cared what you put on your creation, no one gave a hoot if you ate meat or not, liked hot peppers or not. It was a WONDERFUL idea and so dang TASTY!
Yes, there was a glorious dessert table, chocolate fountain and candy bar….there was also a gorgeous array of fruit to choose from. Glory be, something for everyone.
From the invitations to the decorations, all was charming and well thought out. Very festive and felt so happy. Everyone attending was friendly and a pleasure to be around.
Huge news! There was only one game and it was more of an interview of the parents to guess each other’s answers. So sweet and kind, nothing rude or embarrassing. It was fun to listen and watch, very entertaining.
Good gravy, I even wore a cute outfit of jeans, sassy shoes and fun jewelry. No stockings or stuffy proper dress! (My girlfriend challenged me to take a selfie. Seriously, this selfie “thing” is a weird hobby. I did take the picture, pretty sure it won’t become a habit. ha)
When it came time for my present, the gift opening still felt a bit awkward. My cheeks blushed and my hands felt sticky. I thought about it on the way home.
Grown up Girl, Light bulb moment!!!!!!! Listen to this pearl.
You know, I love those parents-to-be so much, I don’t honestly care what others think. How’s that for personal growth????
I wanted them to know, I was trying my very best to make several homemade gifts for their new sweet babe. It wasn’t about what others thought. It was about my heart & soul and wanting to lift them up in celebration. It was about showering them with love.
I’ve been practicing for over 40 years with needle and thread. I got the call! These are the moments I have been working towards, learning new, even stitches. I have a reason to wash my hands, warm up the sewing machine, buy some yarn and get a move on.
Their sweet baby boy will be having his birthday sometime in June. That gives me plenty of time to hand stitch a “welcome to the world” gift. Oh, you know, each stitch will be made with love and prayers for that new baby and parents.
Love to hear what you have made for a baby or bridal shower. Please don’t keep me in suspense. Please tell me there are others out there who make something with their hands to celebrate life and love!
What are you making a new baby in your life? I would love to swap ideas.