It’s an odd thing to walk into the lobby of a hotel and think, “this is where we will bring our baby home to for the first time”. We hoped and prayed that our first family memories would happen among the copies of USA Today, complimentary apples wrapped in cellophane, and the coffee bar with non dairy creamer.
Oh chain hotels. You’re so predictable.
On March 5th, I checked E and I in at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Hollywood, Florida (proximity to the airport was key for flying home once paperwork cleared). We navigated our way through the hotel entrance past the throngs of Americans waiting for their shuttle bus to the cruiseport. When we made it to the front desk, we explained to the woman working (Marie Jean) that we had no idea how long we would be in town. I briefly explained our situation….
There’s a baby coming. He’s ours. We think. We don’t know. We need a room. Hopefully for a few weeks (God willing). Or perhaps for only a night or two (whatever is meant to be will be).
Once our room was ready (early by the way), we walked up to find a baby shower banner across the hotel room door, and the room full of balloons, confetti, little baby buggies, candy, baby shower favors, and a card signed by the whole housekeeping staff. They were strangers, really. Only for a moment. In that instant they became our surrogate family.
I had had a surprise baby shower after all.
What good, kind people exist in this world, wouldn’t ya say?
They brought us gifts, checked in with us daily, brought extra towels, left extra trash bags under the sink, and always stocked us up on those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Every day they checked in with us. They didn’t want to take days off in case the baby came when they weren’t working. I looked forward to our hallway conversations and poolside check ins. Those conversations kept me going. For real.
They folded a towel like a swan and put it in the Pack n Play I had just purchased from the Kmart next door. They were thinking of him. This small gesture made me laugh, and then cry. This baby was real to them before I could allow myself that gigantic thought; that this could really be happening. It was too hard to believe. Self protection is a powerful thing.
We didn’t have a nursery to bring R home to, we had room 515 at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Hollywood, FL.
So, as we mark 6 months of age for Baby R, I wanted to take a moment to share a photo of us and his Hampton Inn family. This was at a staff meeting. Cake followed. Boy were we tired.
We checked in with them today. I’m happy to report all is well in Hollywood, FL. We can’t wait to visit.