The mother-to-be had plenty of worries about her baby shower starting with the weather. Records showed that March 31st had been a warm and sunny day last year and we expected nothing less this year. Caitlin’s longest friend (known her since birth) was hosting the baby shower in her apartment in the Mission of San Francisco. Molly reassured Caitlin that her huge deck would easily fit round tables to hold the thirty guests.
But as the day got closer, my hormonal daughter was swimming in tears. “It’s supposed to be raining and thirty people is too many for inside Molly’s apartment. We need the deck!”
“Honey,” I said, “weather forecasts always change. We can’t control the weather. What are you planning to wear?”
Did you see that wise maneuver, how I took her mind off the weather and put it on outfits?
The group outfit texts started coming in. Her big sister Erin and I were getting variations on Caitlin’s floral dress. I joined in and started texting possibilities that involved the pink gingham shirt that Caitlin wanted me to wear. Oh, did I tell you? It’s a girl! Our baby is due on Mother’s Day. My friends have been saying to me, “I’m excited for her but I’m REALLY excited for you!”
I’ve never been a grandma. I’m not even sure what to expect!
Texting Caitlin porch pictures
Caitlin is the most steady, grounded person you can imagine. If there’s a big job to do or you’re in an emergency, she’s the one you want around. She takes care of whatever needs taking care of and she does it quickly, right under your nose, with no fanfare. Like during the Sonoma County fires in 2017: We’re evacuating our home and I’m anxiously fretting over what to get out of the house. She arrives with long file boxes to transport my business files out of my office. I’m trying to think while all 5’2″ of her is lugging heavy, filled boxes to her car and coming back for more.
Right now while she’s making a baby, I’m sensing when it’s best to give her space or take responsibilities away from her. She’s a little touchy. When she told me to wear the pink gingham shirt to her shower, I wasn’t going to challenge her request—no way!
I wanted to please her, to please her like crazy, so I sent texts of gingham shirt outfits.
“You said you wanted me to wear the shirt with white jeans, but really?” Can you see my lack of enthusiasm in this first porch pic?
“Or, what about orange and pink together?” I said.
What I didn’t tell her about this next picture is that I’m wearing the white pants I showed her a few days earlier, ones she nixed because “Those look too gramma.” Was that a moment to remind her that I’m going to be a gramma? Of course not!
This last picture got double hearts. Erin hearted it after Caitlin hearted it. Whew! I got two things I wanted—to wear the gramma pants and make her happy.
Blue skies in the Mission and all is perfect
My girl didn’t have to worry about the weather after all. Look at those skies! And it was warm outside!
And the good times just kept rolling in
Caitlin’s Aunt Wendy from Fergus Falls, MN made her this quilt. Wendy bought the fabric in a great quilt store in Perham where Dad lives. I got a peek at it earlier in the week. I couldn’t wait for her to open this gift!
And there were stories friends shared about Caitlin. I shared one of her heroic moments in my life and we all insisted she make a speech.
Next up, here’s Caitlin with her second mom, Pamela who flew in from Tucson, AZ to be there. Pamela and her family lived in the house on the other side of our backyard. Pamela’s husband, Slim, made a gate between the two yards called Caitlin’s Gate. It made it easy for Caitlin to go visit her bestie, Molly. They are only three months apart. Pamela and I were both pregnant when we moved to San Anselmo from the Central Coast.
I have the honor of being Molly’s second mom. So there’s the family of women: Molly, Pamela, Caitlin, Me, and big sister, Erin. It was fun to see this pic on Molly’s Instagram where she wrote, “Yesterday we celebrated family. These are my sisters, not by blood but by consistently showing up for each other and always being there no matter what. For unconditional love by choice. Spending a weekend with my mom and also my second mom made me the happiest.” Me too!
Here’s my friend Joan, one of my besties who became a grandmother last July.
Wrapping up the day
Caitlin had a day full of friends, family, and fun. The party was officially over when the after-party began. Matt, the baby daddy came over as well as Erin’s boyfriend. We spent three more hours sitting on the deck laughing and telling stories. Caitlin’s pals have known each other since grade school. They’ve played softball and basketball together, traveled together, and continue to be loyal friends.
It’s funny, sitting around the table while they recounted tales going way back, I was time traveling. I had the feeling of being a little kid sitting with the grownups listening to them teach each other and tell stories. I see myself out on the North Dakota prairies at Aunt Amy’s farmhouse kitchen table. Tall, lean, handsome Uncle Ernest is there with Mom and Dad. The adults have just finished playing cards and are drinking hot black coffee. The laughs and giggles continue as they travel down memory lane probably some stretching the truth every so often. At six or seven years old, I don’t want to be anywhere other than around this table with this group of characters called family.
Back in the Mission on this sunny day, I’m sitting with my girls, their beaus, Pamela, and the girls’ friends. I don’t want to be anywhere else. I’m so happy to belong to this vibrant group with deep ties. Caitlin says it best. “Baby girl has a strong village.” Oh, she does.
Heading back to Sonoma
Before I left, I changed into my setup outfit (although everyone else did most of the work) and packed the car with flowers Erin had arranged and ordered me to take home. Caitlin said, “Wait, I want a picture of my family.”
I don’t know if I’ve heard a more beautiful sentence.
Here we are, the family.
Pretty soon the world will turn upside down. There will be a baby girl with a stunning wardrobe, her own idea of sleep times, and new parents will ride the highs and lows of being Mom and Dad. The beat goes on.
All I feel right now is love. I’ll keep you posted!
I know there are veteran grandmas in this community. I’ll be joining you soon! As always, I love to hear your shares.