End of classes, work shower

10 Dec

The reason for my relative absence is really two-fold. One, classes ended on Thursday (yesterday!), and there’s always a kind of speed-up around the end of the semester. And two is that I’ve come down with an inconvenient cold. We’ll wait to see if I’m sick when baby mama gives birth – that would change it from inconvenient cold to The Most Inconvenient Cold of All-Time – but for now it’s sneezes and stuffy nose. Baby mama seems, thus far, unaffected.

This past Thursday we had a ‘surprise’ baby shower for sweetling at her place of work. Actually, I’m not sure why the scare quotes. The thing was a full-on surprise. Here’s how the email exchange went between me and her boss. This is not exaggerated. This is actual quotation:

Boss: [I] wanted to check in to see if I could get your thoughts on what if any celebratory activity I could do for [baby mama] here at the office. She’s talked to me about how your faith as a couple has tempered some of the usually considered activities (i.e. baby showers, etc.) and want to do something special for her, but also would love to know what she’d be comfortable with. And obviously by the fact that I’m emailing you I’d like it to be a surprise. Any thoughts or ideas you have would be appreciated…Congratulations again on this wonderful addition to your family. Oh, becoming a parent-just the best joy one could ever hope to experience and excited for both of you.

Me: Lovely idea! I don’t know about our faith tempering anything much, I suspect that this might be more that [she] would be uncomfortable getting baby stuff from colleagues. Something celebratory would be great, though. But, if you made people guess the flavor of baby food or wear bonnets or something super-embarrassing, I don’t know that she’d love it.

So one option is just to have a bit of a cake-and-coffee kind of event, where people just murmur encouragement at [baby mama] while standing arms outstretched in two rows and making her walk through a colleague-created ‘womb’ in celebration of her Earth-mother-ness (just kidding, that might well completely freak her out). But just a happy impending motherhood event. No gifts, just well wishes. Easy peasy.

A second option, I think in keeping with the edu-focus of [your organization], maybe something where we might build a baby-library? That is, if people want to bring gifts, they could bring copies of their favorite children’s or young adult books, or something like this. I’m always ambivalent about making people feel obligated to bring gifts, but if gifts it must be, why not Pippi Longstocking?

In either event, I’m happy to attend if you’d have me.

So it was that this week, there was a surprise event. Credit to the organization, they managed to put on an event with 30 or so people while totally surprising my wife. And we received old books and new ones, from Goodnight Moon to a book of Zen short stories with a panda and Chris Niemann’s subway book. Good cheer and well wishes all around.

We’re in the homestretch now, with my semester ending and wife’s being officially on leave from work. I’ll be posting a bit more often, and hoping that the blog will carry a bit through the crazy that is the first week of a baby’s life (and parents’ lives). Email distribution lists are being constructed, contingency plans for bris, etc. Good times.


One Response to “End of classes, work shower”

  1. Kim December 10, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    I was getting the *shakes* without my brooklyndad fix! Seriously. I kept checking for new posts and was so bummed not to find any…now I know why. Congrats on the end of the semester. Does this mean you can kick back and enjoy all the excitement on the homefront for a while? Sounds like the work celebration turned out really nicely! Love the library idea. It’s still my favorite gift to get people for their kids, books and music. Take care of that cold! Something tells me you could whip up a good soup that would knock it on its butt. Call you guys this weekend.

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