My newly turned six year old buckled himself in his seat when I picked him up. I didn’t expect to hear his words for several more years.
“So-and-so’s having a birthday party, and she didn’t invite me.”
“What?” I wanted to make sure I heard him correctly. He repeated what he said. I’d heard correctly.
My heart sank into my stomach.
“Oh, baby, I bet it’s a party for just girls. No big deal.”
“No, Mama, it’s not. She said there’s too many kids in our class. She invited some of the boys, just not me.”
And for me.
My first reaction was anger. Why wouldn’t he be invited to this party? And why on earth would she even tell him about it? It would be better for him if he didn’t know about this party at all.
I was worried for him. I hope he doesn’t feel bad about himself. I hope he doesn’t think people don’t like him. Oh my goodness, maybe he’s not a good friend and the other kids don’t WANT to invite him. The head was full of these thoughts. There was silence in the car.
This is a good teaching opportunity. I can tell him that sometimes we just don’t get invited to some things. That’s okay. That’s part of life. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t like him. Maybe she just has some friends she plays with more than she plays with him. There are some friends he plays with more, right? I can help him understand. Hopefully he won’t be upset. I hope he doesn’t let it bother him..
“I told her I was mad at her,” he said. Then he grinned. By the look on his face I knew he wasn’t really mad at her. At least not anymore. I was relieved.
“It’s okay, Mama. I’m fine.”
“I’m glad you’re okay. You know, sometimes we get invited to some things, and sometimes we don’t. We just need to be thankful when we do.”
“I know,” he said. And that was the end of it.
I’m not sure if this will come up again. I will ask him about it sometime to get a better feel for how he’s dealing with being left out. My Mama heart hurts for him. And, yet, I know disappointment is part of life. Maybe this little life lesson came too early. Nonetheless, I have to help him through it. I pray that I’ll do a good job.
Dear Lord, please help me be a good Mama. I want to teach my kids to live life in a loving way, no matter what they are dealt with. And I want them to know they are loved. No matter what. But that the world does not revolve around them. Help me see situations objectively. Thanks for helping me keep my cool when I, too, was disappointed for him. Amen.