The hoopla surrounding the birth yesterday of the new prince in England has been the obsession of many of my friends over the past few months. Perhaps not quite to the furvor of the royal wedding a couple of years back, but there was certainly a lot of speculation about when the baby would come, the weight, size, and of course, the gender. I’m told that over in England many British subjects held their own baby showers for the unborn royal, complete with games and pink and blue party favors, depending on whether they thought Kate was having a prince or a princess.
It got me thinking about how rare it is in the 21st century to not know the gender of your baby before it’s born. It has become extremely common, and in some ways, practical, to get a heads up as to whether you’re having a Jack or a Jill, both in what to buy baby, and also, just sheer curiosity. This knowledge has brought about a whole new brand of baby shower: the “reveal party”. Instead of having a friend or relative throw the expectant mom a baby shower, the mom herself with throw the party, with the main focus of the day being, you guessed it, the big reveal: pink or blue?
Clever means of divulging this info is part of the fun. Some women will serve cake at the party, and when guests cut into it, see either pink or blue filling inside. Others send picture invitations out with a reveal picture on it of the expectant parents holding something blue or pink. And others give out party favors like lapel pins with storks holding either a blue or a pink blanket, or pins that declare the baby’s name in pink or blue. It adds an element to the party that makes it as much fun to attend as it is to be the guest of honor of.
But as is tradition in England, Kate and William did not pass out prince or princess lapel pins before the big day, and so, seemingly, the whole world kept an eye on the news outlets, much like fathers used to do the hospital door 50 years ago, to await the news that mom and baby were safe, and that baby was either a boy or girl.
Personally, I wasn’t nearly as invested as some of my friends and colleagues were, but it’s hard not to get excited about a new baby, a new life, and the thought of watching it grow up. Perhaps over in England now they’re having post-baby shower parties, passing out little blue crown lapel pins as party favors, and speculating on the name on the new bouncing baby boy, which is the next big reveal the world waits on.