Rob sent me a text about a month ago that broke my heart. He said Suzy burst into tears saying she wanted to be home schooled because she wanted more friends in first grade. She told him that she had asked some girls to play with her and they said no. But she was still nice to them because she knows that is what God wants from her. Gulp. Our prayers from before school were answered with a sweet little girl in her class that Suzy adores and they seem to get along wonderfully. About this time, the little girl told Suzy that she wanted a 14 day break from playing with Suzy at recess to play with the other girls. Having observed them playing together and how enthusiastic Suzy is with her sweet little friend, I totally understood this and was not at all upset by it. But it still broke my heart.
I really don’t want Suzy to be the most popular girl in her class. I’ve seen what kinds of trouble that can lead to down the road. However, I do want her to feel included and valued. Since I don’t know very many of the kids in her class, I decided to throw a huge birthday party for her to get to know some of the kids and showcase what a great kid Suzy is when she is in her own element. This year, Suzy chose the theme, “Talents” and it was super fun to put together. We decided to showcase how each child is uniquely made and has special gifts that we can all enjoy. It was perfect for my hidden motives. 😉
I knew I couldn’t do it alone and I was so blessed that some of my closest friends and biggest Suzy fans chipped in. Ashley led dance lessons, Katherine ran the cooking (cake decorating and trail mix/fruit salad) station, Josh led piano and drawing, Carolyn led the Wii, Rob and Ashton led sports, Gwyneth taught sewing, Andy led the Lego room (until he got bored about 20 min in and decided to close his station), and Stephanie blessed me with bringing her camera to capture things while I ran gymnastics and generally ran around making sure all the kids were trying new things and feeling included.
It truly could not have gone any better. The kids really seemed to have a great time and really embraced the idea of little passports to gather stamps at each station in order to attain a lolipop at the end of the party. Each child was also asked their favorite part of the party and given a trophy signifying that at the conclusion. I love that I made photography a talent and they were able to use point and shoot cameras for me to see the party from their eyes. It looks like everyone had fun!
A big public THANK YOU to all my friends who helped make this day a success. It was so nice to see Suzy shine and meet some of the friends in her class to better guide her on which ones might be most open to getting to know her. We truly believe that she will not realistically be making life long friends at this point in her life within her school. But we want her to have someone to enjoy during the biggest part of her day. We also realize the value of fostering the strong friendships that she has already developed within our out of school community. She already does have some amazing little friends who have loved her since before they knew what school even was. 🙂