Why I loved our Welcome Home Party- Nearly every first time mom I knew delivered late. Most of the stories I heard were about my friends being induced or going at least a few days past their due date. I assumed this would happen to me as well so when my sister-in-law asked about a date for our shower, I thought July 22 would be perfect. This would be the 8th anniversary of my mom passing, and instead of it being a day to be sad ad mourn on, I could celebrate her becoming a grandma in Heaven with a shower for her newest grandson. I figured that was just over a month before my due date so I would be totally fine to travel to OH. It was close enough to drive so we’d be ok! Well as most of you know, Belytt came June 21 and there was no way we would make it to OH.
I was very sad to realize I wouldn’t have a baby shower with my family. Everyone was amazing and sent us gifts in the mail and gave us the best virtual shower I could ask for, but I was still sad I wouldn’t be home to see my family. Once Bekytt was home and settled and I started planning our trip back to OH, my wonderful sister-in-law said she’d love to still host a Welcome Home/Meet Bekytt party at their place. I thought this was a great idea and that is what we did!
This past Saturday was simply incredible. My grandpa, uncles, aunts, great uncles and aunts, cousins, cousins once removed, and a few wonderful friends came to meet Bekytt and celebrate his birth with us. There were delicious food and drinks, great conversation, story time with Great Uncle John, and everyone got to hold and snuggle the little man. He was a trooper. He even showed off his smile with only a few cries here and there. I was incredibly proud of him. We took some great pictures and I had more help that night than I could have ever asked for. I was able to sit down and eat, have a glass a wine and truly visit with people I have not talked with in a long time. It made me wonder, why do we have showers at all? A meet and greet seems to be the way to go!
I am not good at showers or being put on the spot. I mumble so badly that Alexa understands my 3 year old nephew better than she understands me. So opening gifts in front of people is not very exciting. I could be ecstatic about a gift or hate a gift and you would not be able to tell the difference. My smile and tone of voice is always the same. Someone once said you could put a swear word at the end of any sentence I say and it would flow very nicely I’m so monotone. So I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly relieved when Bekytt came before my shower…for the sole fact that I wouldn’t have to open gifts in front of people. Not at all because I wasn’t extremely grateful, because that I was! But at a meet and greet, it is not about you at all, it is definitely all about the baby. That is who everyone wants to see anyway! It is perfect!
I feel extremely blessed to have such a great family. I can’t even believe Bekytt has a few Great Great Uncles and Aunts. When I looked around at our family Saturday night, I wondered how I ever moved so far away. If I could close the gap between WI and OH I would in an instant. I initially left OH to play hockey at WI. I couldn’t wait to get out of the state and I have no idea why. I had a great childhood, I loved high school, had very close friends, and I got a long great with my family. Yet for some reason I wanted to go to school far away. First it was the East Coast. Then it was WI. I didn’t care where in the end as long as I went to a good college with a good hockey team. I just wanted to keep playing. At that time I still had dreams of the Olympics and I assumed I’d lose my chance if I stayed in OH. I wanted to explore the world and live on my own. I also always thought I’d come back home one day.
The only time I ever moved back home was when my mom was sick. I knew I wanted to be with her and help her as much as I could so that was a no brainer. I had finally made the move in 2009. Unfortunately, I was only home with her for about a month before she passed and I only lasted about 2 months after that. I had already done the hard part, why couldn’t I just stay? I realized it was because I created a life in WI. My adult life was there. I actually grew up while I was there and learned to take care of myself. I moved to MN at one point and loved it, but I eventually found my way back to WI a few years later. Wisconsin started to feel like my home at some point and now it is not just like my home, it is my home. I created my nuclear family there, I am part of Kyle’s family there, and I have a whole other family in all the friends I have made there. I miss my blood family daily and my MN family like crazy, but WI is my home now and I love it. I love my family, our condo, my job, our CrossFit box. I feel extremely blessed for all the love in our lives and that all 3 states have very important people within their borders, but until we are ready to move again, all I can do is promise to travel whenever we can. FaceTime should become a weekly thing and I definitely need to pick up the phone more often. We have wonderful ways to connect with family all over the globe and I vow to do a better job at staying connected. It’s too important not to. –Kathryn Kraft, MPT