Kate Canterbury is a layabout who likes to write. She if officially a blogger but is till waiting for Instagrammer to be a title. You can find her writing about sleep, food, beer, and kids on her blog The Guavalicious Life. Find her on EVERY social media outlet possible posting under the non de plume guavalicious. She doesn’t like guavas.
It was right before the girls’ fourth birthday when I realized that birthday parties were not going to be all fun and games anymore. Though I am so not a craft mom, unless you are talking Beastie Boys crafty, I tend to get my Pinterest side on when it comes to birthday parties.
So as we approached the girls party date I gleefully discussed details with a new friend who was having her kid’s party the week after ours. At one of our coffee dates I launched into the latest only to have her lean back uncomfortably and tell me that my girls would not be on the invite for her child’s party.
As I babbled on uncertainly about how I understood and she launched plans for a play date with the theme and goody bags (leading my husband to make snarky jokes about separate but equal,) my heart sank. When I called a friend with my fears that it was not about space, etc but about my kids specifically. In the kindest, gentlest voice of experience she told me that it was about my kids and the fear of the outbursts they would have.
After that, my friendship with the birthday party thrower changed irrevocably and eventually faded away. What didn’t fade away… my fear of birthday parties.
I have become one of those parents who cringe when parties are mentioned because I know my girls will never receive an invitation. I don’t know if the parents think their kids won’t mention it or if they think this is just one of those lessons kids have to learn. Or if they just don’t think of it at all.
What I wish they knew is that my kids are at the age where they hurt a little but that it crushes me . I hate hearing about talk of how much fun they will have at a party that they will never be invited to. I cringe when you mention a party in front of me that my kids are not invited to.
You may mean nothing by it but for me I wonder what it is about. Was there simply not room or was my kid left off the list on purpose?
We live in the age of trophies for everyone and cupcakes for all. And that indeed may be a culture of overpraise. But as a special needs parent, I live for the olden day parties of every one invited to a park. Because my kids would be there swinging with you. With an overly beribboned present in hand.