She took her time in getting ready. My daughter, who doesn't usually like to dress up, wear earrings, do her hair, etc... took lots of pain-staking time to plan her outfit. She matched her top and her bottom. She matched the bling that was on her top to a headband that had bling, too. Since the headband was blue, she chose her favorite blue snowman socks (her top and bottom was black and white). And well... Twinkletoes (Skechers) just go with everything, I mean... A girl can wear bling, right? But she asked me to put in bling-y earrings, and she brushed her hair until it was soft.
And then... she did something that is fairly new to her, she lightly misted herself with body spray. And she was ready.
Me? My heart poured and pulsed with pride, overflowing, I could feel it pounding in my chest. She was SO proud of herself. And I was proud of her, too.
Off we went to the party...
Things were good to begin with. But somewhere... something happened. And I had a 6-year-old bawling, crawling onto my lap. She curled herself up in a ball, burying her face in my neck and told me she wanted to go home. My heart clenched in pain with each rack of sobs. I got her to calm down a little bit and she was able to get out the story...
Another girl had told her (rather nastily) that she didn't match for anything. Only her top and bottom did. And I understood the pain she felt.
Her pride and her feelings were now mortally hurt. She felt less than nothing. Like she could do nothing right.
Now... I know some of you are thinking, "What's the big deal? It's nothing." But, please remember... this was a major effort that she undertook, and she was so proud she did it on her own. I believe in letting children identify with themselves. Unless it's for an appointed photo, let them dress how they want and choose who they want to be (within reason, of course... let's not have gang-bangers and Madonna's at 6, please!). And my little girl is on the way to discovering her own style... herself.
Yes, there are times when I want to say, "NOOOO! Put that back...!" But... that day... her logic was there and she had gone through it piece by piece, and it didn't look bad, it looked like a little girl had picked her outfit and she was trying to say something about herself.
Ok... off my soapbox and back to the story...
I asked Marissa which little girl it was, and what was she wearing. Between sniffles, she told me. (By the way... by now, my shirt was pretty drenched and it looked like I had been breastfeeding and leaked... but I'm okay with that!) Of course, I couldn't be obvious and pull a Linda Blair act, as she was somewhere behind me, so I waited until she was in line for the upcoming game and within my eyesight. Daggers and dirty looks were being sent over our way... for no reason. Apparently, when someone does something to someone else, even if that someone else doesn't do anything back to you, dirty looks and huffy attitudes are the thing to do... *I'm not sure of the other little girl's age... but, she looked to be somewhere between 9 and 11.
The hostess came around asking if the kids were going to play a game. She wanted to know why Marissa wasn't going to play. So, I briefly told her, and also let her know Marissa was going to be okay. After all, I really don't want to get anyone in trouble. It just takes time to calm a kid down. She told my daughter how beautiful she looked and that she loved her outfit.
The hostess asked which little girl it was. I told her. (YES! I was a snitch!!! But I did it so that in the future, Marissa wasn't placed next to her for any reason...) She then pulled the other girl out of the line and talked to her privately. She came back to us and told Marissa, "Marissa, you look absolutely beautiful! You are at a party, and YOU are supposed to have fun and not worry about people being mean. The other little girl is on a big time out, so please come and play with us."
And Marissa did. The other little girls were so nice to her and gathered around to include her... it was... WOW! My daughter had the best day ever, after that. She enjoyed herself to the fullest.
My friend, the hostess, is truly what the phrase "the hostess with the mostest" is. Because of her grace and kindness, and the other little girls just enjoying the party, too... my daughter had the time of her life. And she didn't go home early. She got to spend precious time with her friends.
|please forgive the fuzziness of the photo my 17-yo lacks focusing skills (ha, ha!)|
Maybe if she let's those awesome "other" girls surround her with their awesomeness, some of it will rub off... just like it did on my daughter... so that she, too, can have the time of her life.
***And to my hostess friend... if you are reading this, THANK YOU! from the bottom of my heart for making a little girl feel good about herself again. Because you know... little girls don't always believe their mothers. And you will be missed. I love you!