We decided to throw ourselves a baby shower. The only hiccup? We hate baby showers. So we decided to throw ourselves a Vermont-Style Baby Celebration: no games, no gifts, just a mellow gathering of fun in the sun.
We invited friends, colleagues, neighbors, and their kids to come over to our house for a cookout. Being relatively new to the area (we moved from Central Vermont to Southern Vermont a little over two years ago) and being somewhat reclusive (we’re not really the party-throwing types), I wasn’t sure how many people would attend or whether the party would be successful. It turned out to be great!
I did the morning scramble, rushing around trying to tidy every last corner of our house. I spent a significant amount of time working on the upstairs. Turns out, no one goes upstairs for an outdoor party (go figure). I also set up the grill, cleaned up the patio, fixed up the lawn games and kiddie pool, and set up the food. I put up lots of little festive balloons.
My wife did our other Saturday morning activity—she headed to our local farm to pick up our community-supported agriculture (CSA) share. Little did she know it was strawberry week and she would be bending over and picking two quarts of strawberries—not an easy feat for someone who was then 33-weeks pregnant!
People started to trickle in around 2:00 PM and brought with them a ton of, you guessed it, strawberries from their own CSAs. Every counter quickly became covered in everyone’s fresh-picked strawberries! I was still in the mad dash to get everything together. Thankfully, the kids entertained themselves with our backyard play structure and the adults enjoyed snacking and playing with the Frisbee and Badminton sets. When my wife and I finally relaxed and joined everyone, we found ourselves showered in love and well-wishes, which is much better than being showered in presents (though contrary to our requests, that happened too).
I couldn’t help but sit back and look at all of these lovely people and their joyful children and think, These are going to be the people surrounding my child and supporting her as she grows. These people will shape her future. In that moment, I couldn’t think of anything better. Well, except maybe that gallon of frozen strawberries now in our freezer.