Last year, Samantha was not invited to even one birthday party of any of the children in her Kindergarten class.
And it breaks my heart.
I can just envision the conversations held around the tables in other homes as the invitations are being written, the mothers asking the children who they want to invite, Sammi's name not coming up until the children bring it up to say they don't want Sammi there.
I don't know if that's really how it plays out, but that's how I see it in my mind.
This year it's happening again, although we did, finally, just get one invitation the other day to a party being held in one of the bouncy-places.
And, while I hold onto that invitation without RSVPing yet, waiting for the hour in which it's due, while I know that Sammi enjoys that kind of place, I still resist. Was the invitation written under duress? Was the whole class invited? Was she actually requested? Will she enjoy herself or feel left out by her peers?
I know, I know, I need to just be happy that she's been invited, let her forge her own way amongst her classmates as she does every day. And I know that those children like her. They like her. But will they include her?
I have a whole other post waiting to be written about growing up in a neighborhood, having the true experiences of childhood. But I'll save that for later, when I can better gather my thoughts. It goes hand-in-hand with this one.
And, in the meantime, I clutch the shiny, bi-fold paper invitation with the date and location of the party, willing it to provide me with the answers I'm looking for. Hoping to inhale clarity and peace from it's fibers. Knowing that the only answer will be found once I respond, once we get there and Sammi takes off to play, joyously ignorant of the painful process of decisiveness, the slights with which we are surrounded, noticeable only by absence. And isn't that ignorance, that joy what it's all about?
And, on that note, Samantha's teacher gave me a beautiful thank you gift this morning, a completely unnecessary thank you for the nomination letter and packet for her for Teacher of the Year. The gift was a beautiful reminder to believe. A book, full of quotes and reminders about believing. And I'd like to share a quote each day from the book. I think they apply to all of us at some point in time, if not every day.
Today's reminder: Believe in fresh starts and new beginnings.
Today's quote: "The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started." ~Norman Cousins