Guessing games. Candy bars melted in diapers. Trivia games. Rarely does someone pipe up excited to plan this portion of the get together (and it doesn't seem that people are necessarily ecstatic to play them either). I think that showers are great. Providing for the physical needs of the new family is important and helpful. Laughing and playing silly games and drinking punch is all well and good too.... but sometimes I wonder if we are missing something in the midst of all the "stuff". Hopefully the new mom and dad feel blessed by these family members and friends who have come out to offer them gifts and support.
At the end of the day do they feel encouraged, strengthened, loved? More ready to meet the challenges and joys of a changing family dynamic and training up a little one in the way he or she should go? More confident in the plan God has for them? If we believe this child is a gift, if we believe God has blessed this family, if we believe families are important and parenting is a sacred responsibility and a call from God, how is this reflected in our showering of the parents? Could a shower be not simply a giving of bibs and blankets but also a giving of wisdom, a giving of praise to God for this gift, a giving of prayers and strength for sleepless nights and cutting teeth and temper tantrums, a giving of memories, a giving of God's word that speaks to each day of our lives? There is a Navajo tradition that is called a Blessingway, which is described as follows (stay with me - I promise I'll bring this back from the hippy direction it sounds like it's going!):
"A mother's blessing is an intimate party inspired by an ancient Navajo ceremony called a blessing way. The ceremony is held to prepare an expectant mother for her upcoming birth journey -- to shower mom-to-be with love, support and encouragement. The act of birth is seen as a rite of passage for women, and this is meant to help a woman feel mentally, physically and emotionally ready to give birth". - the bump
So when you're planning the next baby shower maybe just stop and consider how it could be a little bit less... or a little bit more. A little bit less about the perfect gift. A little bit less about the perfect party theme. A little bit more about strong parents. A little bit more about building up Mom. A little more about the God who gives all good gifts.
And if you really want to melt candy bars in someone's diaper, by all means knock yourself out! :)
p.s. I love families and children and have since long before David and I were a family. My dream has always been to work in Obstetrics and I hope to fulfill that dream someday! Since I have lots of thoughts in this area I have decided to write about them from time to time... though I realize it could start the rumor weed growing at a fantastic rate. If you hear any rumors brewing about what's going on in the Brick house, please realize that they are most likely unfounded and do your part to keep the weeds from spreading. Thank you!