There is nothing quite so humbling as answering the door to family and friends as they shuffle in one-by-one carrying huge boxes and bags in your honor. Before I even started opening gifts, my eyes welled up just at the sight of the huge pile of beautiful pastel wrappings and bows.
I couldn't shake the overwhelming feeling of love and support in that room. Advice was given, jokes were shared and I felt every bit the guest of honor that the hostesses intended. In fact, a few of us I arrived early and when I offered my assistance, I was shot a look that immediately dismissed the absurdity of my even mentioning it. Then I was told to help myself to a glass of lemonade.
Everything was perfect. It was held at the home of one of my mom's closest friends and it was decorated beautifully. Of course there was pink everywhere, including my great-grandmother's pink china for dinner, a perfect single pink rose centerpiece and adorable baby-themed confetti scattered around the table.
I'm not sure why more people don't have showers on Friday nights because it created the perfect party atmosphere. Everyone congregated in the kitchen for the first hour as guests filed in and found the appetisers. Then we had a fantastic chicken Caesar salad, fruit kabobs and homemade bread for dinner and, of course, a marble cake made by my all-time favorite bakery. The hostesses had given the owner one of my invitations and he mimicked it in frosting.
When I sat down to open my gifts and everyone filled in the seats around me to watch, I couldn't help but start out by saying what a huge relief their generosity was providing me. As much fun as both of my bridal showers were, and as fabulous as it was to receive brand new fluffy towels, beautiful serving platters and fancy salt and pepper shakers, Jerry and I could've survived without most of it.
Not the case with baby showers. Everything I received, we needed desperately. I have no idea what we would've done without their help. To keep myself from full-out bawling and likely ruining the party, I tried not to think too much about it and just threw myself into the excitement of each little outfit and tube of butt rash ointment.
The gifts seemed endless. I received almost all of the major necessities including a car seat, two strollers (one for heavy travel, one for quick trips), a play yard, infant tub and a motorized musical rocker. Then there were the little things like clothes and diapers and baby shampoo. And the sentimental things like beautiful homemade quilts, a hand-typed booklet of advice by a new mom and a stack of burned CDs with soothing lullabies for the nursery.
After hugs and thank yous and more congratulations and best wishes, the party wound down. Jerry and my dad showed up to help with boxes and before I knew it, everything was loaded into cars and I was thanking the hostesses for such a wonderful time.
The next morning, Jerry and I went through all the packages together so he could see what we had received, and it just continued to strike me how lucky we are to have so many people who care about us.
And soon will care about our daughter.