Thursday, March 3, 2011

Missed Invitation

Cooper doing his chores: trash cans!

Connor and our neighbor friend, firing balloons up into the sky (or yard!).

Caleb's definitely not one for chit chat, but several times lately he's mentioned a classmates' birthday. "It's going to be at Laser Flash," he announced with excitement. "He said he's going to invite me." I'd smile, and say all the things a mom should say, "How cool. Sounds fun. Can't wait." But deep down I questioned whether the birthday party existed, and if so, was it happening anytime soon? (After all, I have four boys that discuss/plan their birthdays 365 days a year.)

This morning, Caleb bolted down the stairs, and demanded I check my email. "The invitations are out," he announced with anticipation. "My friend told me the invites were sent two days ago on e-mail." When I acknowledged, no invitations had been received, he begged to check Chris's e-mail too. It started to become apparent to me (and Caleb) that he had not received an invitation.

He was in tizzy, and returned to his room in a huff. My mama bear protective instincts kicked in, and I wanted to do all I could to protect from any impending hurt. I sat contemplating what to do:

Tough Love Approach: Rejection is a part of life. You need to learn to deal with it at age eight, because it will never go away.

Cheerleader Approach: You'll find better friends. You'll get invited to lots of parties in the future. You don't need to worry about him.

Helicopter Parent Approach: I'm going to call that mom. She needs to know his feelings were hurt. What was she thinking?

Crazy Parent Approach: I'll just take him anyway.

What I finally landed on:

Gentle Loving Parent Approach: I'm sorry you are hurt. We don't know all the details, but let's find something to do just us. I've gone through rejection too. I know how much it stings.

As I was discussing this with my mom today, she mentioned how I should understand how he felt. Of course, I remember being left out of a party or two as an adolescent. But, I'd have to say experiencing it through the eyes of your child is worse. I know he'll get through it, but will I?


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