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Published on May 19, 2020

Future mommy diaries

My much-needed baby shower that soothed the soul

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

Everyone needed this baby shower.

I needed it; my husband needed it; our friends needed it; our whole family needed it. It made us feel like things are normal. This was a time to focus on a new life arriving in the world.

COVID-19 was shoved in the closet, safely under lock and key, and the key was lost for a few hours. We made a few changes to follow the guidelines and keep everybody safe. But for a while, we were not going to focus on this pandemic. We focused on happiness.

Our original baby shower was scheduled for April 18, but then COVID-19 happened, and we canceled it. Then we decided to reschedule it and do a virtual and drive-through shower. We weren’t sure how it was going to turn out. It turned out better than we could have imagined.

For the drive-through baby shower, we sat outside in lawn chairs in the garage, and we had goody bags to give to each person that showed up. Some of our friends and family made signs for our soon-to-be son, Brantley. Our neighbor’s small children made signs with pictures of their pal, our dog, on them that read: “Jack is going to be the best big brother.”

As some people pulled up, they came and hung out with us for a little while in the driveway. We kept our distance, but we also had a garage/drive-through party with our closest friends. Everyone was laughing and smiling, and they were talking about how much they needed social interaction and something happy to focus on.

No one really talked about anything, and they talked about everything, except COVID-19. It wasn’t invited.

It felt nice to be around other people whom we knew and not random people at the grocery store. It was good for the heart, the soul and the brain.

We came inside to prepare for the virtual shower. My husband, David, and I decorated the house for our “Under the Sea” theme, meant for the original April shower. We weren’t letting the decor go to waste, and it looked great. We made chicken-salad croissants and pimento cheese sandwiches with home-made dips for the chips, and we even had gourmet cupcakes, baked for us by a close friend. A turquoise-colored punch filled my grandmother’s glass punch bowl.

We started our virtual shower. We had a cousin recording it and another cousin jotting down the gift-givers and their thoughtful presents so we could send thank-you notes. I had everything planned out and prepped ahead of time.

We played games, including who knows dad best, who knows mom best, and the toilet paper game. This had to be played carefully, since the toilet paper being used would be repurposed. These days, we can’t risk wasting it.

Guess how many sheets of toilet paper fit around my belly? Not two million, or 36 - actual guesses - but 10. I thought it would be more, especially after all the cupcakes! My brother, Bobby, and his girlfriend, Hannah, watching virtually from out of state, actually won the game with the exact number.

For this co-ed shower, we also played a drinking game. Every time someone said “baby,” you had to take a sip of your drink of choice. My drink was water, and I stayed very hydrated. Some others’ drinks were something else, and things got interesting. It is almost impossible not to say the word “baby” at a baby shower.

Then we had cupcakes, and everyone joined in with us virtually and ate their choice of sweets. They needed to load up on carbs after all that “baby” talk and the consequences.

It has been overwhelming to see how much this baby is already loved. We are grateful for all the support we have received during such a strange time in the world.

We had a great time. It was a baby shower for the soul. I am not sure how another baby shower will compare to it. I hope the next one will not be during a pandemic.

Now, how many times did I say baby during this story? Oops... we aren’t playing that game again - are we?

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)