There are babies all around at the moment. It is very exciting to me that 2/3 of the Hive Mind are becoming first time parents this year. Today Astrid Winter Beilharz was born to Karen and Ben! I’m very excited and can’t wait to meet her tomorrow.
On Saturday I went along to M’s baby shower. Like Karen’s baby shower it wasn’t an occasion of groan-inducing dread as some showers have been (I hate the ones where you play ridiculous games like how many nappies can you peg up, or how fast can you change the nappy on the plastic doll, or – the worst – the baby food taste test where you have to identify commercial brand baby food by eating out of unlabelled jars. Ick).
At Karen’s we played fun games like Spicks and Specks and designing imaginary Facebook pages for Peanut, I mean, Astrid. It was a lovely mixture of people from Karen’s different spheres of life, there was yummy food, and lots of laughter.
At M’s we also had lots of yummy food and drinks (complete with a drinks menu). It was a pretty relaxed affair, made even more relaxed by the gorgeous, tranquil St Ives setting of her parents’ house. For entertainment, we had creative pursuits, like making origami animals to be hung up in the nursery, and decorating plain baby clothes with fabric paint. My effort is pictured on the left there, and induced many “ohhh you’re so creative!” gasps from other girls. I was kind of taken aback by that, because I hadn’t thought it anything special, and in fact thought I’d mussed it up a bit.
I said to Karen later that I always find that odd when people say things like that (although nice of them to say!), and I realised it’s because most of my friends are creative in one way or another. They can write, draw, play music, etc, etc* so I just assume that everyone can. I’ve always been able to do these things easily, so just assume everyone can.
I guess it’s much like people who are good at maths being astounded at my inability to do simple arithmetic, or people who are good at sport not understanding what it means to be completely uncoordinated! Thank God that he has made us with so many different skills and given us so many different gifts. We are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14). Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?
* this cheekily puts me in mind of this passage from Pride and Prejudice…when I looked it up to quote it, I couldn’t just take one line but had to put in the whole lot…sorry it’s so long! 🙂
“It is amazing to me,” said Bingley, “how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are.”
“All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?”
“Yes all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover skreens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished.”
“Your list of the common extent of accomplishments,” said Darcy, “has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse, or covering a skreen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished.”
“Nor I, I am sure,” said Miss Bingley.
“Then,” observed Elizabeth, “you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished women.”
“Yes; I do comprehend a great deal in it.”
“Oh! certainly,” cried his faithful assistant, “no one can be really esteemed accomplished, who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.”
“All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”
“I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any.”
“Are you so severe upon your own sex, as to doubt the possibility of all this?”
“I never saw such a woman, I never saw such capacity, and taste, and application, and elegance, as you describe, united.”
Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley both cried out against the injustice of her implied doubt, and were both protesting that they knew many women who answered this description, when Mr. Hurst called them to order, with bitter complaints of their inattention to what was going forward. As all conversation was thereby at an end, Elizabeth soon afterwards left the room.