Today, my 7-year-old daughter, Madilyn, came home from school in tears. She asked me if I knew about her friend’s birthday party and I said, “Nope, you’re not invited to this one, sweetheart.” The tears welled up in her eyes and I could just feel the anxiety and I just gave her a big hug and said, “No worries! We have other plans that day anyway!” (We really don’t but we will do something fun.) She was still upset but this is a big part of life, right?
I still can’t believe my Madilyn is 7 years old and already dealing with heartache and disappointment. It seems like yesterday I was looking at beautiful baby shower invitations for girls as I helped my mom plan my baby shower. In my eyes, Madilyn is amazing. AMAZING. She is so smart and kind and truly loves all the kids in her school. She wanted to invite all of the first and second grade to her party back in December. Of course, this didn’t happen. I just don’t understand why she wouldn’t be invited to every darn kids birthday party in the whole school! Totally kidding – I get it. I am a parent. I know how much these parties can cost. I know that us moms are just trying to do the best for our kids with our budget and time and the overwhelming Pinterest ideas. I also know that this kid’s birthday party is a celebration for her. It is not about my kid. She wasn’t obligated to invite my Madilyn. It is OK. She isn’t going to be close with everyone. In fact, some kids might not like her as much as other kids. Gulp. That’s OK too.
I feel like Madilyn is still my baby girl and I just want to keep her young and safe forever. Yet, she is growing up and realizing that life is difficult sometimes. My job as her mom is to show her that she is very much loved by so many amazing people, yet sometimes, life isn’t always perfect – sometimes we get left out.
Even as adults, friendships can be hard work. Friends can disappoint you. Friends change. You change. Friendships you have had for years might not look the same today. It is OK. All you can do is control how YOU treat others. You can not control how others treat you. I hope I teach my girls this. I am working on it every darn day.
The earlier we realize that this is a part of life, the better we all will be. I didn’t think Madilyn would be dealing with these real emotions in the first grade but maybe it is better. Maybe it will help her as she grows up. Even as grown adults, we get left out. We feel like we aren’t good enough. We don’t have the newest car or the best, designer handbag and we feel like we are not good enough. I am over it. We ARE good enough and we don’t have to get upset about being left out. We just need to focus on being nice to everyone. We need to teach our kids to be kind to everyone, even to the people who leave us out. Spread the love. Spread the kindness. Get your picture taken with your kiddos often. They grow too fast. (Photo credit: CL Pagac Photography)
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