It was interesting to be there with the kids. They ran through the aisles of diapers and bibs, admiring the nursery bedding and joking about how fun it would be to put a baby in one of these cribs. I announced the "C" names I had picked out for our imaginary third child (Cortland Monroe or Clementine Bell) and laughed that with my extra holiday weight, other people probably thought I looked pregnant. More than anything, we were all relaxed. So different from how Gina and Cullen, who we bumped into there, must feel, just three weeks away from the due date of their first child.
The shower that night was at the Dyers'. I commented to Chip that I had never been to this house, but I had spent a Thanksgiving at Allyson's previous home. The Morgans are family, and as such this really is my first time to be an aunt. Even though Cullen and Gina have their own sisters to guide them through this time, I hope that as their other "sister" I can be of some help too.
It was a fun party. I was tickled to find that Allyson worried I would write a scathing party review on my blog. As if! It was wonderful. Her house is lovely, her daughter completely charming, and her food was delicious. What could I possibly complain about? I appreciate being included in the celebration.
While there, I talked briefly to Gina about how that first month might go, and was chided by Jay for "freaking Gina out." That certainly wasn't my intention. But you veterans out there- can you remember that first time? Weren't you just out of your mind that last month before the due date? I remember being terrified, and having no idea what to expect. So I had to break it to Jay- I think it's too late. Gina is probably already a little freaked out. I just felt like she should know- it's not all awesome, and it's okay to feel frustrated or scared or unhappy about the whole thing.
I got lots of parenting advice before I got started, from friends and books and family, and I appreciated all of it. More than anything, hearing all the different opinions made me feel confident that using some common sense, and just doing what "felt" right, was the way to parent. Not every decision is going to be a winner, but as long as you are feeding and diapering and loving that baby, she's going to be fine. And more importantly, so are you, the parents.
As I wandered through the aisles of Babies R Us, laughing about how I once agonized over things like which type of sippy cup to buy, I wished I could wrap up the little bit of confidence I now have as a parent to give to Cullen and Gina. But the only way to get that sense of comfort is to earn it in the trenches, so I ended up just buying a sleep sack and some burp cloths. Anything else you might need, feel free to ask- I am at your service. I can't wait to welcome Miss Harper to our family!