I was honored to help plan her baby shower on March 7 at Mohonk Moutain House. Our theme? Cherry blossoms. It’s still a little early for them, even here in Washington, DC, but with the bright blue sky that Sunday morning and a baby girl on her way, it seemed the perfect metaphor.
As I told the 50 ladies who joined us, this is about helping Christine transition into motherhood. There will plenty of time for baby when she arrives. Now is our chance to create a path for Christine to take this new step her life.
As women we have an opportunity to nurture and support one another through our transitions. Motherhood can be a mystery, though it doesn’t have to be. By sharing honestly about our experiences, and offering support to one another, we make all of lives richer. Women, we are in this life together!
In celebration of Christine and her love of literacy, every person was asked to bring a new children’s book to the shower that we would donate in her honor. Specifically they were asked to bring their favorite, either one they read as a child or read to a child in their life.
The response was overwhelming! Just like the response I received to my question posed on this blog – What was your favorite book as a child? – even before the shower people were calling or emailing to tell me their favorite book, and how excited they were to bring it with them.
We collected such an amazing variety, from Dick & Jane to Frog & Toad and of course a bunch of Dr Seuss. At the shower, I had women tell us why they brought the book they did. We heard stories about books read to Christine as a child, to their own children, and books with cherished memories and beloved characters. In fact, going into the bookstore to buy my book for the shower I ended up with one for her, and one for me, my favorite, James & The Giant Peach. (No sooner had I bought it did my father ask to borrow it. The power of children’s literature!)
The books collected are now with The Children’s Home in Poughkeepsie, NY for their new library for young mothers to read to their children.
As we celebrate the newness of spring, of birth and rebirth in our lives, consider how the beauty and simplicity of children’s literature and our connection as women can be equally celebrated and nurtured.
This post is about more than the pregnancy of my friend. It’s about the connection we have to each other, and the role that literature can play in those relationships. As teachers, you offer students a space to learn and grow. What a special gift that you can give yourself and the people in your lives too. A seemingly simple book, and a genuine curiosity about what inspires us as readers, can become a meaningful conversation. Even among people who don’t know each other well.
What support are you wanting in your life? What support can you offer the women around you?