This post is another Hallmark sponsored post. I am being paid by Hallmark to write it, but all writing, ideas and opinions are mine. Thankfully, Hallmark and I share the same idea–that little moments are to be celebrated and that good people, good efforts and good intentions deserve a spotlight. See Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion for more details, like them on Facebook, and/or sign up for their e-mail messages HERE.
The Summer of ’06 was a validating summer for me. I was planning our wedding, choosing table linen colors, and my friends took the role of bride cheerleader very seriously. They showed up, wearing t-shirts that said Bridesmaid, and they spent many a night folding programs, gushing over dress choices and saying things bridesmaids are supposed to say. Like “It’s your day!” and “You’re the Bride!” and, my personal favorite, the daily countdown text of “ONLY ___ MORE DAYS!” And yes, it was all caps. Basically, we were one “Let’s Hear it for the Bride” cheer away from a great Saturday Night Live skit.
Most of us didn’t have kids back then, so celebrating the bejesus out of each other was a nice hobby to fill our time. And it really did feel good to support friends that way. A couple weddings followed mine the year after, and I was happy to pay it forward. Bachelorette parties, showers, favor making, picture taking, and talking about upcoming weddings as much as possible at all brunches, happy hours and random rendevous.
Weddings are a really big deal, I get it. But, I think there’s something so equally wonderful–definitely worthy of the same glorification and celebration among friends as a wedding. We don’t get t-shirts made to support the occassion, we don’t host catered receptions to celebrate. And yet I think there is no greater occassion to show up, no better time to celebrate, than when a friend welcomes new life.
My best friend is having a baby next week, and I will be there to celebrate. If there’s one thing Sisterfriend knows how to do, it’s celebrate; and while, yes, I cannot wait to hold her sweet baby, I am also looking forward to the opportunity of showing up. I get asked a lot about my friendships–how we make it work, how we’ve built intimate relationships with each other and kept them. It’s simple. You show up. And the big things in life like having babies? You celebrate. You let your friends know that you are well aware that moment of falling desperately in love with a child they’ve carried for nine months deserves one hell of a hullabaloo.
The old proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it also takes one to celebrate a child. And I think any mama can agree that one of the best ways to feel loved is when someone loves your child. Which is why I can recall every single person who came to the hospital to see both my girls when they were born. Or why I saved every “Welcome to the World” card I ever received and have them wrapped in ribbon and tucked away in keepsake boxes. You don’t forget these things–not even in the blackened haze of unexpected diagnosis grief. Especially not in the blackened haze of unexpected diagnosis grief.
Having a baby is a life-changing, soul-stretching, glorious occasion, and if there’s one opportunity to deepen a friendship, it’s rallying to celebrate the miracle of birth, the triumph of adoption, the undeniable fact that having your heart stretched with love for a new child is a very, very big deal.
Someday, several years from now, my friends and I will gather for coffee, and we’ll talk about our kids’ college applications. How much car insurance costs for teenagers. How we love our daughter’s boyfriend (Oh God, I hope). But we’ll remember that the depth of our cherished friendships began when we showed up long ago. When we held out our arms to hold each other’s babies for the very first time. When we made mothering an infant seem a little less isolating because we stopped by, we brought meals, we rocked and kissed those newborns and we celebrated.
Because it takes a village.
Do you have a favorite memory from your pregnancy or your child’s birth when you felt celebrated by your friends? Or, have you celebrated a friend’s new baby in a special way? Hallmark and I would love to hear your stories. In your comment, please share how you help make welcoming new life a special occasion.
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