My sister created the most special baby shower for me the other week. The inspiration for it came from this beautiful, little-known Portuguese children's book about a boy's first experiences discovering the world through the senses -- his first time visiting the sea, his first time seeing colors and birds, his first time hearing the wind in the trees, smelling his grandmother, and tasting fruit.
There were so many lovely, handmade touches that my sister made with the help of my very talented friends, inspired by the book's visuals and theme of first experiences.
My friend Eunice, who is a florist, decorated the room with my favorite flowers, in the palette of the book's artwork.
Garlands of photos, and the beginning sentences of the book adorned the room.
My friend Lillian provided market baskets of Rainier cherries and strawberries (my favorite things to eat this summer) as favors, with these handwritten words: One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste. What a beautiful thought.
Homemade cupcakes and a handmade topper.
My sister made these adorable straws for an assortment of lemonades.
My nephews and my friend's daughter cut out clouds and drew birds that looked like the illustrations in the book, to decorate the table. I love the green bird -- my friend's daughter said it's supposed to be me. See the baby bird she drew inside the green bird's tummy?
My husband created our baby's "first playlist" with the essentials -- his first Coltrane, his first Nirvana, Bill Evans, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and Bach.
Homemade wrapping paper. I love it.
Even my sister-in-law thoughtfully mailed over some special Seattle sweets and treats to share.
But the most meaningful gift of all was this framed art my sister made. The tree and leaves were inspired by the endpages of the book. She asked our friends and family to write one thing they could not wait for our little boy to experience in life -- his first ride on the D train, his first Mariners game, his first hiking trip, his first McDonald's french fry. My husband and I pored over this gift, reading and rereading all the things our friends and family wished for our little boy, realizing how much he is loved already.