Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Invitation

Ask Strawberry who her best friends are and she will always say the same three names. Madeline, Nyla and Molly. I think it’s kind of cute that she has a posse. Often her bedtime routine will involve a cuddle and chat about her day. We will lie in her big girl bed and have a bonding heart to heart. Then I change the discussion into fun things to look forward to. I tell her that when she gets older she can have her girlfriends sleep over and we’ll have a pajama party. She asks if she can take them away with her on trips. The girl already dreams big!

I worry about all the friendship heartbreak that my girls will have to endure. I recently discovered that I don’t have it in me to be the strong, protective mom. The first clue happened when I dropped the girls off at daycare and saw little envelopes in a few of the cubbies. The detective in me observed that they suspiciously looked like they could be birthday party invitations but Strawberry’s locker was empty. The first thing I asked Colin when I saw him was if he had picked up an invitation the day before. He hadn’t.

A couple days later, I overheard Molly’s mom tell a caregiver that Madeline was only person that had not RSVP’d for Molly’s birthday party. All the hurt from my own friendship rejection came flooding back. The only saving grace is that Strawberry doesn’t seem to be aware of the party. Oh how I hope that she doesn’t find out. It’s likely that she was overlooked as a guest for this event has more to do with me than her friendship. I don’t know the other parents and I haven’t arranged playdates.

Just minutes after my heart was ripped out of my chest, Molly and Strawberry gave each other a gigantic, giggly hug goodbye.

Momma bear goes off to weep in the corner.

14 Singing the blues:

Mrs. Chicky said...

Ooh, that's a tough one. I don't want to think about friendship heartbreaks yet. But this story made my heart do flip flops for Strawberry... and for you.

kgirl said...

oh, that is heartbreak. it's so much easier to protect them from the obvious, isn't it?

crazymumma said...

ouch. I just linked back to the story aboutt he eleven year old you and I remember so many things like that happening as a kid.

Birthday parties are such a political terrain...I hope Strawberry doesn't find out.

bubandpie said...

The politics of birthday parties just make my head explode. You can't possibly invite everyone - I can remember only one birthday party in my childhood that was open to everyone in the class, and I remember it because it was so surprising at the time - but how do you choose? Ugh.

Gabriella said...

That is a hard thing to see, hopefully she won't find out. Sometimes I wish we could protect them from everything.

MotherBumper said...

This makes me sad and mad. My mom always invited everyone to my parties which was cool with me but I remember the feeling of rejection when I was left out of a party. It always stung. Even when it happens to me now it still stings but at least I can deal.

I really hope she doesn't find out and please don't blame yourself for not being the social mommy.

Sandra said...

Oh that is so rough. Makes my heart ache and my eyes swell just thinking about it.

My son's school has a policy - if you want to invite the kids to a party via invites sent to school, then you need to invite EVERY kid.

Hopefully it was just an innocent oversight.

Big hugs to your sweet girl.

mamatulip said...

This is something I seriously worry about -- friendships. Julia's friendships. Oh, how my heart beats in my chest when I think about it.

I feel for you. Every inch of me feels for you.

chelle said...

It is horrible. Becca misses her friend everyday since we moved. I hate that we moved away. Being a parent is so ... hard.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

I agree with the others - that is horrible.

I do have a question/comment, though...

At my son's preschool, the teacher has asked explicitly that, if you hand out invitations at school, please invite everyone. I think most schools do this. Is there a policy like this at strawberry's school?

I would ask the teacher. It's one thing for a mom to mail or give invitations to people if she sees them, but to leave them in school cubbies and then leave out one child? That's not a nice example for the parents to set for their child.

nonlineargirl said...

This is one of my fears for my girl. Never a popular one as a kid, it makes me heartsick thinking she might go through the same thing.

kittenpie said...

We've been talking about this around our house, too. I have a draft on the table about the "not your friend' thing which is making the rounds at daycare now, and we've been talking about how you can say more specifically what you mean so as not to hurt feelings - "I don't want to play right now."

There's a Rosemary Wells story (a Timothy's School Days one) about a birthday invitation too, and that school has a rule about no birthday talk for exactly this reason. Still, it's life, isn't it, and we can't shield them from everything. Too bad.

Jenifer said...

awww... I had that feeling recently. I bring my daughter to a music class where all the other Moms know each other and their kids all play together outside of class. My daughter does her best to play with the other children when we are there but you can tell she is kind of "the outsider". Thankfully, she doesn't seem to notice.

Anonymous said...

Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads: Dealing With The Difficult Parents In Your Child's Life

Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads: Dealing with the Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Counselors Who Can Make--or Break--Your Child's Future

Both are by Rosalind Wiseman and deal with what your blog is about the power plays etc other parents do.

Very well done and geared to parents of daughters but she does deal with boys too.Something you might want to think about reading cause sadly it's not going to get easier once grade school starts.