Last weekend, I ventured up to San Francisco on my own, no kids, husband or dog in tow. My best friend Jen was throwing a shower for her college roommate and her husband, dear friends of ours who are about to have their first baby. As is typical of my trips up north, the weekend was full of insane food goodness (including Doughnut Dolly, where they fill fresh sugar doughnuts with cream right before you!!), more than a few delicious cocktails, and great times catching up with some of my closest friends from junior high on.
Maybe because we are getting a little older, or maybe just because, the shower was a relaxed, informal co-ed affair. No games, no theme, the 49’ers game on the TV, and a menu comprised of very non-standard shower fare that the couple loved, including spaghetti and meatballs and homemade pie. Friends from all stages of Matt and Dawn’s life filled the house and quickly found themselves chatting and mingling with each other. Jen’s adorable daughter Flora, pictured above, came and went between Disney movies and plates of pasta, content to be the only child at the party.
Jen found a branch in her backyard, and it was placed on the dining room table as a centerpiece. All night long, parents and non-parents alike stopped to write advice and wishes for Matt and Dawn on little cards we tied to the branch. Ranging from the silly to the practical to the profound, we all sat and read the words together late that night. I was really struck by not just this show of kindness, but also of the shower itself, put together by a big group of people who really love the parents-to-be. Some friends brought salad, some made favors, some cooked the meal and some baked pie. (I came up with the cocktail recipe, which I promise to share soon. I also painted onesies, but only under strict guidance from Jen, who has a much more artistic eye!) It really does “take a village” to raise children, made up of family, if you’re lucky, and your friends, the family you choose. This was such a sweet way to welcome a new baby into the world.
P.S. The photo above of all of us women? That is my junior high and high school best friend Bonnie, the mom-to-be and friend since college, Dawn, Jen, a best friend since junior high as well, and me. And of course, little Flora. We all spent a month in Europe together after college and haven’t been together all at once for over five years!