The second party was for the impending child of a lovely young couple who sing shapenote with me -- not people I socialize with, outside of the singing, but we really do like to think there's a local shapenote community and sponsoring a baby shower for your members is part of what defines a community. Actually, the party was pretty much a pot luck and singing, such as the hosts regularly sponsor. We sang for an hour, ate dinner, opened gifts, then sang for an hour.
There were no "games" at either party. I have never been to a baby shower where games were played. I suspect they are rare at baby showers attended by men and women. In fact, it was stretching into my memory to remember that baby showers used to be girls-only events.
I really like the theory behind baby showers: a community coming together to help out a couple who might be overwhelmed with all they need to purchase for a new baby. I bought both gifts on the same day last week, and it briefly crossed my mind that, in total, I'd just spent about $50 -- which is not a small amount of money for me. Then I realized that this was the total for only two items, both of which were not particularly big ticket. Wow, what a lot you'd have to spend to cover everything. What a nice thing that the people around you come together to ease this for you.
I'm being really obvious here, aren't I?
At the second shower, nearly every woman in attendance had children, so there was some nice bonding over the labor experience. We sang things from the Sacred Harp that might or might not apply to the process. The father asked us to sing "Confidence", which seemed appropriate. It was only an accident that we closed with "Christian's Farewell", which includes the couplets:
Here I have worked, labored a while
But labor is sweet, if Jesus doth smile;
When I am done, I will go home,
Where Jesus is smiling and bids me to come.
"When I am done, I will go home" got sung with assurance and finality.
Some events are happy ones.
Update: Matt Wells, who hosted the shapenote baby shower (along with his wife Lara), has sent a video of a small piece of that event. The expecting couple are sitting on the couch by the window -- she is the blonde, he has a reddish beard The two boys on Lara's lap are Matt's kids.
Clips like this never begin to convey what it feels like from the inside. But you can certainly hear me.