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Giving Thanks

Jenny Feldon

This weekend, some of my amazing friends got together and threw me a baby shower for #2. Or, as I like to think of it, a “sprinkle.” I felt a little guilty about having a baby shower for a second child; we’d already done the gift registry/shower thing with E and we have most of the essentials. It’s been a difficult time financially for many of us, and the holidays are around the corner. I wondered if even a sprinkle was inappropriate, if I should just request my friends donate extra turkeys to homeless shelters instead of buying #2 blue onesies with matching hats.

But then I got my invitation in the mail. A “Ladies’ Night” themed evening that promised some serious—and much needed—girl time. A night when I could straighten my hair, put on eye makeup and slip on high heels (probably for the last time until 2012.) A night when my closest friends could get together, chat uninterrupted, and eat non-baby-friendly food with two hands. No one would need help getting on the potty, no would shout “Mine mine mine,” no one would accidentally grind Goldfish into the carpet or get fingerpaint on the dog. And most of all, it would be a night just for #2, where I could focus on him and his impending arrival without his big sister crowding him out of my thoughts entirely.

Everything was perfect. My incredibly talented friends transformed my grandmother’s house into a swanky lounge, complete with fancy drinks and delicious appetizers. There were even people on hand to give manicures—my ragged, chipping nails were given the royal treatment. And unlike my previous baby shower (greatly appreciated though it was,) this time I didn’t have to ooh and ahh over a Diaper Genie and a waterproof mattress pad. These gifts were simple, adorable and heartfelt.

Mostly, I felt loved—and I think #2 did, too. As my world gets more chaotic, it’s an amazing feeling to know how much support J, E and I have as we embark on our newest journey. When I moved here, eight months pregnant with E, I knew almost no one and had no idea how I was going to survive parenthood, let alone in a new city where I’d be flying solo most of the time. Two and a half years later, and blessed with some of the best friends I’ve ever had, I looked around a room filled with people I loved and realized that it just doesn’t get much better than this.

#2 scored some pretty cool stuff: a hand-knitted stegosaurus, some very cool clothes (monster truck pajamas!), his very own Sleep Sheep (one of my must-have items from E’s babyhood, and one I was pretty sure she was going to be unwilling to pass on.) I now own some gorgeous, soft PJs to take to the hospital, and E got the coolest pajamas in her favorite color (brown, inexplicably) emblazoned “Big Sister E.” #2 has his own matching set declaring him “E’s Baby Brother.” So cute! Luckily, by the time he knows enough to be mad about his, he’ll have long outgrown them…

I’m still going to encourage everyone to donate turkeys this year. E, J and I will be participating in charity drives and volunteer efforts throughout the holidays (or as long as I make it before #2 comes along!) This is the first year E will be old enough to understand about giving back and about what Thanksgiving really means. But I’ve stopped feeling guilty about the sprinkle. Every baby deserves to be celebrated, whether they’re #1 or #4 (or #19, if you have a reality show.) Too often, we have a "been there, done that" attitude about #2--and that just isn't fair. He deserves a few of his own, brand-new things, and he deserves a special party just for him. And every mama should be as lucky as I am, to have friends  and family who want to spoil me and show me how happy they are to welcome #2 into the world. So much to be thankful for this week! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone…

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