The Baby Shower

This comes from a journal that I made for our first grandchild. We did not know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl, nor did we have a name. But this was written on the occasion of a baby shower, while he was still mostly unknown to us. It’s from 5 December 2009. “Here’s a funny thing: we met several people at your Aunt Cara’s house. We had food. 

We laughed and talked and told baby stories (about our own kids, especially your mom and dad). And we passed around presents that everyone had brought for you. You’re still inside your mom. We don’t even know your name. But you were the honored guest, the star of the show, the main attraction! We showered you with gifts and love and laughter and hugs (at least your mom’s stomach). Already! And we don’t even know you! (Can you imagine what a party with you, for you, will be like when we do know you?) 

“All these people, gathered around you, giving, honoring, welcoming. Their connection is your mom, your dad, or both. We were united, in celebration, in hope, in peace, for a little while. Because of you. Political differences, racial differences, religious differences, ages, physical ability…nothing that distinguishes us or labels us or taints us in the world mattered at all today. We can honor you – and hope and pray for your health, your safety, your well-being. 

“A simple act, really. Put some food on a long, low buffet table. Add some helium-filled balloons and presents. And presto! World peace! We could give a baby shower for every newborn in the world. We’d have to stop fighting, stop polluting, stop hurting other people and go tell baby stories, eat a sandwich, and get along. It would keep us busy and wouldn’t cost much. 

Maybe we could even start a college savings fund for every baby, add health care, clean water and air, and safe food. I mean, as long as our focus is on the baby, and we’re getting along for the moment, let’s use the time to do something really long-term for newborns. “Maybe, if our focus was on the babies of the world, we wouldn’t think war, polluting, greed, and other nasty stuff was such a good idea. As we worked together, moment by moment, maybe we would even come to abhor the crazy things that people (adults) do to each other – and maybe we could stop. 

“It could be that the answer to many of our current problems rests with baby showers. More baby showers! Baby showers for peace! Save the planet, have a baby shower! It’s not as silly as it sounds…imagine…” Thus I wrote almost nine years ago… It’s so important to strengthen a child’s self- esteem, to encourage their curiosity, to help them with healthy choices. We all do that to some degree once the child is born and continue as they age. I was thinking about this journal entry I made, following a baby shower for the young boy with whom we now share a house. He’s been a product of this strengthening process before he was even aware of it….or was he, somehow…? 

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