Saturday, August 6, 2011

Expressions of Beauty

I spent part of my day today, having a Girl Day. We all need one of those every now and again. I was invited to a baby shower. I have given plenty of these in my home since moving to Quincy. I guess it comes with the territory of growing older. Our children are having children. Well, to be more precise, my friends' children are having children. It is not my turn yet. So today, since I was simply a guest, it was nice to sit back and enjoy.

The preparations were beautiful. The table of food was plentiful. There was no lacking for something delicious to eat or drink. Crackers and dip, finger sandwiches, a variety of cookies, fresh fruit, a beautiful chocolate cake with shaved icing and pretty cupcakes made especially for small hands to hold with comfort. 

I always ask if people want me to bring my camera and take pictures. Not than I am by any means a professional. But when all the goings on are happening, and I'm not part of the immediate action in motion, it's easy to take a step back and see what others are too close to see.

I started taking pictures of the actual center of attention activity herself. And then, I began to look around. At the faces, all the pretty faces that were in that room. Faces full of love. Faces full of joy. And faces full of family. There were sisters, cousins, aunts, children and friends abound.

I have gained all sorts of family since moving here with my boys in 1998. At any turn , I can call myself amongst friends and family. People who would do anything for me. And I would do the same for them in return.  I never go to one of these functions that I always know everyone. But by the time I leave, I have new friends.  And 9 times out of 10, the people who are there that I don't know, I will discover I know them through other people. I met three sisters today who were great aunts to a young man who Zach has known since he was three years old, Mclane Edwards. Small town living is incredible.

There were a total of four little girls there at the shower today. Four little girls, all very close in age. Four little girls who were the guests of honor at their own baby showers not long ago. One of those little girls, Miss Mamie Victoria Hall, was a guest in my home at her baby shower given here, before she ever graced us with her presence. She is almost four years old now.  It's so hard to believe it was that long ago we were celebrating the beginning of her life.

So as the little girls scampered around, eating cupcakes, "assisting" the guest of honor opening presents, arguing over toys, and tired little girls, now laying on the floor...I snapped pictures.  And what beautiful girls they all were. Full of life and simplicity. Barefoot and barelegged. Hair pulled up in ponytails with steamers of stray hair tumbling out. Beads of sweat over their lips and the bridge of their noses from running and chasing who knows what.

I am giving a baby shower in my home again in a couple of months. And as I was making out the guest list a few weeks ago, and discussing it with the mother and grandmother to be, I suggested that we limit the children if we could, "to keep the commotion down and the focus where it should be". Because, of course, you can't get those moments or memories back, and children tend to distract from the activity at hand. From what I witnessed today, what an idiot I turned out to be.

I am so thankful for the gracious invitation that was extended to me today. And I have to say, I enjoyed the babies that were already here, as much as the precious one on the way. So Tracy, bring on all the babies your heart desires. I'll be the one in the back, camera in hand, helping to capture the memories you might otherwise miss, because of  "little helping hands".

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

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