When we think of Independence Day family celebrations, lots of images come to mind. Mostly we think of picnics and hot dogs and hamburgers and swimming and fireworks and a load of fun with friends and family.
Our family is no different — those are the types of activities that we annually look forward to and sincerely enjoy.
This year, however, was somewhat different for our family. For the first time ever, in my entire life, I was invited to a reveal party. At least, I guess I was invited since it was being held at our house.
You see, our daughter is expecting her second child. We’ve know about this since about Mothers’ Day, and we are extremely pleased for her and her husband. It will be fun to once again have a new baby around come this November.
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Now, in our day, the gender of the new baby was revealed once delivery was complete and the doctor had the opportunity to make the announcement. We learned what we had after the baby got here. That was just the way it was.
Of course, we are living in a new age and modern technology makes it possible to accurately determine the gender months before the due date. Hence, the question of what’s it going to be can be answered much sooner this way.
I remember a story from years ago about an old doctor in Nodaway County. I don’t recall the doctor’s name and I cannot say for certain that the story is true, but since I can remember the story, I feel compelled to share it.
It is said that the doctor, upon completing his examination of the expectant mother, would state positively as to the gender of the yet unborn child. He would look the lady straight in the eyes and say, “You are going to have a boy.” Then, once she left the examination room, full of anticipation, he would write in his journal that he had predicted a girl.
That way, on the big day, if the new baby was indeed a boy, the doctor would be proven to be, once again, correct and very wise in his ways. If the new baby turned out to be a girl, the doctor would show his notes from the day of the examination and explain that the mother must have misunderstood. Either way, he was always right.
At the Reveal Party, we were asked to choose to be a member of either Team Boy or Team Girl. Once that decision was made, we were then donned with articles of either blue or pink, to let everyone know which “team” we were rooting for.
As difficult as it may seem to believe, I have accurately predicted the gender of all three of our children, five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. I cannot explain it, but I normally just have a feeling. I will admit that there have been a few instances in which I would not make a guess because I simply had no set feeling one way or the other.
I had been saying all along, once we knew that a baby was coming, that I knew the gender. I had already gone to the extreme of picking out really obnoxious and ridiculous names. That to me is the most fun — picking out something so outrageous that no one will be interested in hearing more suggestions.
So, on the day of the Reveal, on our front lawn on the Fourth of July, Dusty and Rachel were handed a sealed bag containing helium filled balloons. The sonogram had been conducted the day before and the results were sealed. The mom and dad did not see those results as the envelope had been handed off to the trusted family member who was in charge of the Reveal Party.
I can now say that I have attended a Reveal Party. I was immensely pleased, but not surprised when my daughter and son-in-law ripped open that bag. Yes, it was fun watching those blue balloons soaring skyward.
David Coffelt is a Harrisonville area resident and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.