Last night, a few of my friends threw a surprise baby shower for me. It was a very low-key, casual event - so much so that instead of referring to it as a shower, they called it a "sprinkle"! It was perfect and a total surprise. Vic knew about it, apparently, but he's very good at keeping secrets. (He says his secret to keeping secrets is just to forget.)
For several weeks, some friends and I had planned to get together for a quiet evening at my house after our kids' bedtimes to hang out, have some snacks and drinks, and chat. So I was totally surprised when Bethany, Claire, Joslyn, Kathy and Anisa showed up at my door with cake, flowers and gifts!
Bethany, a ridiculously organized planner, had us play two baby shower games. I was so relieved that these didn't include the "How many toilet paper squares does it take to span the pregnant lady's midsection?" game. She also made really cute, delicious star and moon shaped sandwiches. Claire brought flowers and a lemon cake from Whole Foods. Everyone brought gifts for me and the baby. As Nico would say, it was "so awesome!"
The best part was the company, though. Since I'm on modified bed rest, I had been feeling isolated and a little down. It was so nice to have friends over, especially for girl time without spouses and kids. I try to connect with my fellow working mom friends often, mostly by email and phone, but in person whenever possible. Before I got pregnant, whenever we could get everyone's schedules coordinated, we planned Girls' Night Out excursions that are a lot of fun. The last big one we had was at the House of Blues where we went to see a Michael Jackson tribute band - so hilarious! (Bethany is convinced that was the night I conceived.)
Mostly, though, we have smaller Girls' Night In gatherings at one of our homes. It's nice to have time to unwind and get away from the stress of our daily lives. It's great to share experiences with women who understand the challenges of the elusive work-life balance. I met these friends through the Cleveland Heights-University Heights early childhood program three years ago when our children attended Stepping Stones, its full-day preschool program. The parents we've met through Stepping Stones are amazing - interesting, engaging people from diverse backgrounds. Doctors, lawyers, professors - and one theater director- these moms are brilliant, creative, hilarious and inspiring.