A COVID Baby Shower

Following my mom‘s death in the middle of May, life quickly began motoring ahead, almost without missing a beat. Since May, life moved so fast in Spring I almost couldn’t keep up. Most immediately, front and center was planning for the arrival of my first grandchild in mid-September. I’d promised them a shower!

COVID Shower
My Mom’s passing was not unexpected, yet this many weeks later, I’m only just connecting with the fact that she won’t reappear at dinner or at a holiday. I miss her.

I gathered names from family and released my first party invite the week after my mom’s death, scheduling it for July 25- Thinking the pandemic would allow us the opportunity for a multi-generational extravaganza. Not so fast. 

Pretty quickly, I had to hammer down guest invites to less than 15 people at the house, the balance to join after a box lunch for a zoom event, designed to bring everybody together for games and present openings with an additional 30+ people, a slide show, music and group games. Attendance numbers were driven by CT COVID rules and sensitivity to the reality of having three pregnant women at the house. At various times I was tempted to just give up. Who wants to be responsible for making anybody sick, ESPECIALLY pregnant people?

COVID Shower
I ordered in a couple yards of Sweet Peet mulch for the flower gardens, flailing away overtime to improve the beds. New gravel required LOTS of weeding and edging prep.
COVID Shower
The garden was both the entrance and luncheon site for the local party guests. We put out lots of small tables and threw up one small tent -planning for a sunny day. It worked! Two of my sons and their wives provided extensive support. The pink and blue balloons- no gender reveal for my daughter!
COVID Shower
My kids are big Disney fans- and it became the party theme. I found some images online to use for a Disney castle painting. You can appreciate why preparation covered many weeks. COVID slowed both materials and envelope shipping for zoom party needs. I had to make and gather many things for zoomer care packets- stick- on jewels for crowns (also used on face masks for locals). Printed cards for zoom games. Sour patch kids for zoomer snacks seemed appropriate!
COVID Shower
My kids are weathering COVID in Brooklyn and Boston- They were adamant about our inside layout so I put together a dimensioned floor plan to assure everybody as to how many people we could safely seat. I drew in the seats to also give direction for audio and video placement. This was NOT a job for the weary. Bridget’s maid- of- honor was a tremendous party asset who arrived from the Hamptons, just in time with the cupcakes!
COVID Shower
Bottom left, see the three chairs in front of the glass doors we later blocked with the Disney castle image. The large screen to its left featured slides, game prompts and zoomers! A super projector on loan from my nephew allowed us to increase viewing size so we could see everybody at once, and they could see the two principals.

The brown paper castle covering shut out the sunlight streaming through the glass doors behind my daughter and her husband. ( bottom right) Existing track lighting overhead added a nice directional lighting touch. A couple days before when I realized we’d created an incredible hot box -I begged two portable AC units from my son-in-law. Whew!

COVID Shower
Check out the slide show size. That’s Mike, the DAD. My son Sean and his wife (Baby Momma#2) helped us set up and brought in the balloons. And ( inset, lower right) Tonya-the Mistress of Games and my husband, installing the door covering.
COVID Shower
Thank God the party’s over and we’re counting down three weeks to go. You now know what crazy artists do during COVID quarantine. A couple days ago I was escorted to the police station with the soon-to-be parents to learn how to install the car seats. Done! Bridget, can I chill out a little now? You do understand that real life begins AFTER the baby is born!

Just to be sure we all take a break, here is a great instrumental performed by the Aaron Diehl Trio. A Story Often Told, Seldom Heard. Aaron is an American jazz pianist, and if you don’t know him, find more here. Awesome.

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