News of anyone having a baby always brings a smile to my face. So when our tech guy Beng announced a baby shower for his first born due in October we all happily pitched in. Beng had a list to help us along, so it wasn’t very difficult to think about what to get for the coming baby.

A few days after the party he thanked us by putting this picture up on his website:

JV's Gifts

And while I looked at it I remembered how my babies started out. Totally different circumstances they were, as we were living in the province, I didn’t have a job, and I had a bunch of sisters- and cousins-in-law who had babies and baskets full of hand-me-downs for Athelstan. Diapers were made out of old flour sacks, washed out and bleached and washed with Perla Blue so that they’d be soft and fluffy. Old blankets were cut into smaller chunks and sewn into quilts to line the convertible crib which had belonged to the eldest son of the eldest daughter-in-law of an aunt.

Honestly, this was the first time I had been invited to a baby shower. We didn’t have them in the province, as it was considered bad luck to buy anything in advance for an unborn baby. I had sat with head bowed under disapproving eyes of elder women who tut-tutted after I had bought a baby mobile while I was six months pregnant with Maui. I had gone to the local bakery and bought three dozen old flour sacks but I couldn’t clean them out because my neighbors ten meters away would cluck and shake their heads at me, and I was young enough back then to care.

When we were expecting Maia things were a bit different. We lived in Manila now, where no one cared what their neighbors did as long as they weren’t too loud, and I had enough funds to plan ahead with. Sam and I had managed to get a few things in Divisoria in preparation for the hospital basket, the one we’d take when it was time to go to the delivery room. But having gone through previous experiences such as these keeps me in awe of parents who do hold baby showers, and half of me wishes I had done the same thing back then.

The photo above is courtesy of Beng’s young wife, who patiently laid out all the gifts on the toddler bed in appreciation, and took picutres for all of us to see.

Baby showers now and then

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