I shouldn't say that I wasn't thrown a baby shower for Miss M, because even though I had to fly 2000 miles to get there and most of the guests were guys, it was a well planned party thrown on behalf of my baby-to-be. My sister and oldest girlfriend worked hard to coordinate all the details and it was a really nice evening. But it was at a bowling alley and most of the gifts we received were Spiderman board books, so it didn't really fit the traditional baby shower mold. (Not to mention the fact that I ran into my college boyfriend in the middle of his bachelor party.)
I've never been entirely sure of the etiquette for second-baby showers, and I just assumed we'd go without one this time. We pretty much had everything we needed already, and, oh yeah, I also own a parenting store, so it seemed a bit grabby to presume we'd be thrown a party with the deeply implied intent of stocking us up on baby gear. And yet, as a slowly evolving Southerner, I did feel a strange urge to get together with our friends and drink punch and get prodded about announcing the baby's name for a couple hours.
The main difference between this pregnancy and the last is that, this time, I've had three years to build up a network of parent friends, and moms in particular, and it should have occurred to me that a bunch of Southern women weren't going to let this baby's arrival go uncelebrated. Thanks to Kristy and Stephanie, along with their genial spouses (only one link because Stephanie and Chip share a blog, or possibly because Kristy and Stephanie share a husband), last Sunday brought us to Castilo Alley for an afternoon jam-packed with friends, babies and enough strawberry icing to affect my unborn's insulin level until 2017. Aside from the presence of menfolk and the gracious absence of games, it was very much the traditional shower. Except better.
I was still enjoying the post-party glow when I got to work this morning and noticed that my gaggle of playgroup regulars was acting a bit strangely. And that their diaper bags looked heavier than usual. After a few arrived and started whispering to each other in the back, I knew something was up. They eventually admitted that they were all throwing me a shower today, and each mama who came in was toting a bag of goodies to add to the table of treats we set up in front of the nursing bras. Other than the customers who loitered around and made me miss the first 45 minutes of the event, it was a lovely party and a very touching gesture from these moms who have been sharing their first year of motherhood with me. They tell me often how much Mothersville means to them, but I don't think they understand how much it brightens my week to see their babies and share their stories and enjoy their company for a few hours. And having been one of them not so long ago, it's my honor to keep up the community that was so crucial to my survival as a new mom.
And now, just because I need to show off all two opportunities that I've had to wear my very fancy maternity boutique dress, I bring you pictures from my 2003 and 2007 showers.
With my sister ...
And with my baby's sister ...