The Baby Shower

 I sort of promised to write about Sarah's baby shower in my Dispatch column this week, but I was a little frantic, the way I am on a deadline (today at 4:00pm) and I couldn't find my notes. So I didn't. Also, I had a library board meeting this morning and went to Morning Muscles, and time was running out. I had jotted down all kinds of sweet and funny things on the Baby Shower Bingo card. But I lost it. I guess that pink corsage with "Grandma" on it suits me better than I had thought. So I didn't have enough for a column, but I can tell you what happened. Sarah's friends Kendra and Lexie planned the party, so if you weren't invited that's why. It was a mostly young crowd. (Well, I sat next to another Grandma-to-be but her daughter and Sarah are friends.) Kendra's mother Frankie helped her, a lot. She decorates the library for the holidays. She arrived two hours early to add a lot of  sparkly pink snowflakes to my Alaskan three-dog-and-dead-wild-animal-decor. Frankie and her daughters made every little baby-shower decoration you can imagine, from name tags to the cake topper, as Kendra said, "if we lived in a city, you could just buy this stuff." They are better than Hallmark.
Lexie, who is a teacher, had the school cooking class bake a three tiered polka-dot cake. There were pink paper plates. (Did I mention that the baby is a girl?) Sarah said pink was fine for the party, but her daughter is going to be more like her, and favor green and blue. She will play basketball.
There were games too. In one, Frankie had us taste globs of baby food and write down what flavor we thought it was. I guessed tuna for beef.  You could serve it at weddings and no one would know if they got the wrong meal. There was one called "macaroni and cheese" that was yellow and tasted like glue, and one called "ham with ham gravy", which no one should ever feed to a baby. The carrots were all right, and the blueberry applesauce was too.
I gave Sarah "Blueberries for Sal" and "Pat the Bunny." A child can't have too many books. She also was given lots of pretty things; homemade quilts and bags and sweaters and spit-up cloths and practical items like baby-wipes and socks and a spoon. But mostly, as Frankie said, we were the ones receiving the gift from Sarah. She noted that Sarah and Eliza, Kendra, Amy, Melissa, Jay, Lisa and Lori-- and even more of their friends (I lost the notes, remember?) had grown up here, and now were sharing their adult lives with us. (Lexie went to college with Sarah and is engaged to a Haines fisherman.)
Frankie said that when Sarah remembers this party, it won't be for the gifts--she'll care that we were here for her new family from the very beginning. Frankie asked her to take a good look around, and never to forget how much she is loved, and that she can call any of us whenever she needs child rearing advice,  a break, or just some time to chat.
Mostly, I can't believe I'm going to be a grandmother. (In a good way.) Will she call me Grandma? Or Heather? Or...?
But right then I could feel that big old wheel of life turning like the Ferris wheel at the fair, with all of us hanging on tight, swaying gently in the seats high above town. I love that ride, and I love this one too.


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