Maddie's Craft and Christmas Party

A couple weeks before Christmas I got the bright idea to do a little Christmas craft party for Maddie and 8 of her school friends. We're trying to be intentional about getting to know her little classmates, which isn't necessarily an easy thing to do with kids being spread all over the city.

So, two weeks prior, Maddie handed out cute little invitations to the party. From time-to-time she'd remind the girls of the date and time. Several said they were going to come, but we had specifically asked that they RSVP so we'd know how to plan for the crafts.

And one little friend's mother RSVP'd. And that was it. And I don't have any phone numbers of the kids in the class so I was torn. Do I call off the party because I have no idea who is coming? Do I go on with the party but then, that means planning for all 8 of them?
{Side note: Why do people not RSVP? I hate that. Just be polite people. That's all for that soapbox. Irritating, for sure.}

Anyway, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I went ahead and assumed that the girls would come. I mean, what 8-year-old wouldn't want to come to a Christmas cookie and craft party. Um, hello. And so, 2pm came. And went. And 2:15pm came. And went. And 2:30pm came. And went.... And only little Natalie showed up.

The fact that only one little girl came was, on so many levels,very irritating for me ... but it was so much more than that. I was so sad for little Maddie. That her friends didn't have the common courtesy to even say they weren't coming. I just didn't want her to think that her friends didn't like her or didn't want to be with her. I tried to assure her that it was just the busy-ness of the Christmas season and it probably wasn't the wisest time for us to try to plan a party.

And bless her heart, she handled it with grace and poise. She instantly took the negative and made it positive. After all, that meant that she and Natalie got to make all the cool painted glass ornaments and they didn't have to divvy them up between 9 girls.
And they also got to pick whatever cookies they wanted. AND, all the silly bands were theirs to divide.

For a girl that sometimes tends to be a glass-half-empty gal, this time she was 100% glass half full. I was really proud of her for how she handled the disappointment. After Natalie left we certainly talked through the feelings of disappointment and sadness and the fact that those are okay feelings to have, but we also worked through the choice of contentment in the midst of circumstances that were less than ideal and how proud I was that she did such a delightful job at enjoying Natalie's company and making the best of it.

And I really hadn't given it any more thought until today on the way to school. She piped up from the back seat, "When I see my friends I'm gonna tell them they were RUDE." So we talked through how that might not be the best approach, but that sharing how disappointed you were would be an acceptable alternative, if the topic came up. After school I asked if anyone mentioned the party and she said "No," and that was that.

So we live, we learn, we grow in communicating with others. {And we might not throw another party for school friends for quite some time because if it happens again, Mama Bear might come outta the den a very grumpy bear!}


Cleary said…
Aunt Cleary will come out of that den with you...
Grayson said…
what a great idea, Alysa! so sorry for the naughty girls but thrilled of Maddie's maturity! u r such a great mama!
amywb said…
You are a great mom! On so many levels - even just doing a craft party. But especially how you handled the bad turnout with Maddie. What's up with people these days?
Alice said…
I was disappointed just reading this. Not RSVP'ing is incredibly rude, yet so common. I'm glad Natalie came and had a good time!

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