I’m not usually at a loss for words.
If I’m having trouble finding the right one, I think of something close and then lean on Merriam Webster’s thesaurus to pinpoint the perfect term.
I’m also not one to get sentimental.
But I’ve been dwelling for weeks on choosing the right words to describe the
can’t stop smiling from ear-to-ear to the point where your cheeks ache and you wonder if your face will ever return to normal or you’ll end up forever looking like Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo
l-o-v-e, LOVE I felt at both my friends- and family-hosted baby showers.
At the beginning of March, my former co-workers and friends Megan, Rachel, and Traci threw me a shower with many of my closest girlfriends. I regret not taking any pictures, because the hostesses attended to every last detail with perfection. Since things started up at 10:30 a.m., the girls served a spread of brunchy foods (quiche, fresh fruit, salad, pastries, and mimosas). The decorations (fresh flowers, poms, and an “Oh Baby” banner in my nursery colors) were both tastefully girly and delightfully springy. The games and the party favors (homemade sugar and salt scrubs in baby food jars!) were creative, exciting, and debunked my normal thinking that stuff like that can only be banal. Additionally, Rachel agreed to hold the entire event at her house, which is already a big commitment in itself, but she did it willingly at 37 weeks pregnant (her handsome and healthy baby boy, Harrison, arrived exactly 21 days later!) .
Then a few weeks ago, my beautiful sister-in-law Sarah hosted a book-themed shower for family members and close family friends. Sarah went to town with decorations – many handmade – like a wreath crafted from dictionary pages and an impeccably stacked and stocked diaper cake. In addition to the diapers it had all sorts of fun extras like baby shoes and sunglasses! She served delicious snacks and made my favorite drink, pink lemonade, into a fun game: she put tiny baby dolls into ice cubes and the first person to have their ice cube melt and see the doll won a prize when they yelled “My water broke!” She also had a family friend create an exquisite and yummy cake in the shape of popular children’s books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Love You Forever, and Oh The Places You’ll Go. Again, I wish I would’ve stopped to take pictures, because every tiny component of the shower was Pinterest-worthy!
Along with the love I’m feeling, I’m speechless to describe people’s generosity. After both showers we have only a handful of things left on our gift registries and nearly all the remaining items are covered by the gift cards we also received. What’s more, many people took the time and energy to craft hand-made treasures like a water color painting, special burp cloths, and decorated onesies and bibs. And if that weren’t enough, many who attended had perfectly reasonable excuses NOT to show up: busy school and work schedules, living far away, not knowing anyone else, morning sickness from their own pregnancies, recently returning from/departing for big trips, etc. They truly, truly set the standard for the meaning of selflessness.
All put together, these gestures so touch my heart that it makes me weepy. I knew that welcoming a baby into this world was a momentous and joyous occasion, but I had no idea that the lead up would be this special and humbling. And from what I hear from other parents about the moment you first set your eyes on your own child, what I’m feeling now is only a drop in the bucket. Here’s hoping that before then they come up with a word that properly explains a heart bursting from too much positive emotion.
To all of you who have extended your well wishes in any form (gifts, cards, calls, e-mails, words, etc.), thank you from the very deepest part of my heart. In a world that occasionally seems to be filled with nothing but darkness, it is incredibly uplifting to know our daughter will make her arrival surrounded by the warm and reassuring lightness of love.