A virtual shower gift for the Bean, who is far more than half-baked.
First, some background:
Justine wasn't my friend, originally. She more properly belongs to my husband, who has been friends with her since college. Both she and my husband know how to sing and play an instrument. (I know how to play the radio.) They kept in touch after college and started reading each other's blogs back in the dark ages of blogs when people believed the internet might be private. This was on a different blog platform under a different name. I was there, too, and eventually I added Justine to my list of friends on said blog platform. I was snooping, is what I was doing, and I was too lazy to keep checking back to see if she'd updated, so I wanted her there on my friends page (this was before FB, can you imagine?).
Of course the blog platform in question informed Justine that I had added her so I had to send her an email letting her know that she didn't have to be my friend back. It was all very 6th grade-love-affair. Except I didn't scribble her name in a heart on my trapper-keeper. Anyway, Justine did become my friend back and somewhere in there we had kids at almost the same time. All the while it was clearly understood that Justine was really my husband's friend and that he would get to keep her in the (exceptionally unlikely) event of a divorce.
Five years later I have decided that she is MY friend and should Husband ever be so silly as to leave me he has to give up custody of Justine. It's his own fault for not blogging more (says she who hasn't blogged anything noteworthy for weeks.)
What does any of this have to do with Justine's nearly-baked Bean? Nothing, it's just an illustration of how blogging has opened up a new and wonderful way of creating and sustaining friendships. Without blogs Husband and Justine would probably have drifted into the land of Christmas-cards-only, and I would have continued to see Justine as someone smarter, prettier and better than I (all true, but not a reason not to be her friend.) Instead she's my friend and confidant and cheerleader and I am grateful to her for her many gifts to me. I know she has cheered and consoled many of you as well, which is why a virtual shower of good wishes from real friends who happen to be separated by mere geography is so appropriate.
Justine, there is no doubt in my mind that your bean is entering the world already blessed because she has you and S for parents, because she has I for a big brother, because she will be encouraged to wonder, to explore, and to follow her heart in service to others. She will be a blessing to the rest of us. And while I will do what is in my power to be there to welcome her personally, even if I end up being far away, I promise to breathe with you and rejoice with you in the hours surrounding her birth. You'll be amazing, and so will she.