Yesterday my best friend and my mom threw a baby shower to celebrate my little pumpkin, Eli. It turned out absolutely beautiful. I won’t lie, I was a little nervous. How were people going to act? Would it be different than my first shower for Cody? Would people only want to talk about his Down syndrome? The answers were clear from the beginning. This was an event to celebrate Eli (and me!) and everybody was just happy and loving and “normal”. I’m not sure why I was nervous. Maybe it was more about how I would act. I didn’t want to be emotional or for people to feel sorry for me. I didn’t want to seem sad or disappointed that Eli has Down syndrome. I wanted it to be one of my good days. Thankfully, it was. Everything was perfect. I felt so much love being directed towards me and Eli. I am so appreciative of my friends’ support. I truly could not have made it through these last 5 months (since the prenatal diagnosis) without them. Whether it was a phone call, text, Facebook post/message, email, lunch date, cup of coffee, bbq, play date – my friends have most certainly lifted me up. Some have researched Down syndrome so they know how to or what to talk to me about. It really meant a lot to me that people would take the time to educate themselves about something that has never affected them personally. It shows that they are invested in their relationship with my family and ultimately, Eli.
The night before, while pregnancy insomnia took over my body, I wrote a little thank you to read at the shower because I knew I’d be too emotional to remember it on my own. This was a thank you letter to my friends – many who are like family to me. Of course, I cried through most of it because every word was meant with such sincerity and thankfulness. I thought I’d post it on here for those that were unable to attend or had to leave early, as well as to those friends I have just “met” through baby boards and other forums. The friendships I have newly made are just as important to me as those that I’ve enjoyed for 20+ years. Every friend is cherished. Every friend has my heart. Here’s what I read:
Thank you to everybody that came to celebrate Eli today. I am so thankful to all of you for your continuous love and support. As you know, this hasn’t been an easy journey for Chuck and I but we found peace through our amazing network of friends and family. I have been blessed with lifetime friendships. Some of you have been by my side for 20 plus years. Others, although friends for a shorter time are just as dear to me. You are all a sister (or second mom) to me – for that I have realized how truly blessed we are. I am thankful to have a family that isn’t necessarily bonded by blood. We are all bonded by love. My son is one lucky boy. And so am I.
Chuck and Cody stopped by at the end. My favorite part of the entire day was when Cody saw me and came running to the front of the room to hug and kiss me. Being a mama is the best thing in the world. I am truly thankful for my blessings in life.