A highlight of the time I spent back in the Netherlands this holiday season was the surprise baby shower my sister organised for me. It still puts a smile on my face every time I think about it.
On Sunday, December 28, after I went on a lovely long run in a snowy landscape, I thought I was going to have a quiet day. Good friends of my parents were going to come visit us, and as usual I like to spend the day with them. My sister Hester, who moved in with her boyfriend this Summer, had asked my mom to come for coffee at 2 p.m., so my parents’ friends could see her house. I thought that was a nice idea, so I decided to join (though I was surprised she didn’t invite me separately as well).
Around 2 o’clock, we walked to her place, which is literally two minutes away from my parents. A red Fiat Panda was parked in front of their house, something that surprised me because I know neither Hester nor her boyfriend have that car. Hester opened and asked us to wait in the entrance and then enter all together, because of a problem with her door. The car, she said, was from a friend of her boyfriend. I didn’t pay attention to the many coats hanging in the hall.
As I entered her living room, I heard a loud “Surprise!” and saw all my friends standing in front of me! I could hardly believe what I was seeing! Some of them had come from quite far. I didn’t know what to say or where to start, wanting to talk to them all at the same time!
If that was not enough surprise, Hester had decorated her house with blue and pink balloons and garlands, and my friends had all made or brought something for the high tea we were going to have! Again, I was speechless. A few weeks back, I had told Ahmed quasi-disappointed that I would not have a baby shower, as I have been living in so many different places over the last decade and now we are about to change country again. Not only did I get my baby shower, but my friends and family completely surprised me with a very well arranged shower and high tea!
The cherry on this marvelous surprise cake was that each of them had filled a page with questions about themselves, me, and the baby, which Hester had collected to make a friendship book that includes plenty of old and new photos.
Predictions about the date of birth, gender and name of the baby made me chuckle, while other things (such as “Our most beautiful memory together” or “Your best decision ever”) made me wink away a tear from time to time, as did the wonderful and sometimes hilarious photos!
Needless to say, I had a wonderful afternoon, although I felt like I wanted to talk with everyone at the same time! I also made sure my sister and mom made plenty of photos, because I don’t do that often enough when I am having a good time with friends.
Every time I think back I am grateful for all the people in my life, and I realise how important it is to stay in touch with each and every one of them. I may not always be very good at that, but I am definitely trying to improve this year. Hey, I just formulated my first 2015 resolution!
I will leave you with some more photos of the shower/high tea and will be back soon with a post about our move to New Zealand!