It’s not my party {so I’ll cry}

I’m torn, y’all.

Torn between the past I know my daughter has, and wanting to pretend that the past doesn’t exist in that way.  It’s a tough thing for a girl who loves history; I majored in it and taught it… it’s a legitimate passion!

History can be rough.  The tendency of all people is to gloss over the nasty bits and pieces, isn’t it?  I could bore you to tears with all of the instances that just popped into my mind when I typed that sentence, but time is of the essence.

We have  a few parties to get to, you see.  Christmas parties at school where kids will exchange books or small gifts and eat snacks.  It will be much like what Julianne experienced yesterday at her preschool Christmas celebration.  She had her party, and she loved it!  She was SO excited to hand out little treats to her classmates, and SO excited to receive little treats in return.

Last night, she saw the wrapped gifts for the boys’ parties sitting on the counter, and when she realized they weren’t for her, she kinda lost it.  I know part of it is due to the fact that Thursdays are the WORST NIGHT OF THE WEEK.  Everyone is tired.  Adding to the physical fatigue, she has had a lot of EB stuff going on that is tough to deal with.  Adding to physical fatigue and EB stuff, she is emotionally drained by Thursday.  It’s tough to experience the degree of sensory input she experiences and not be drained after almost four years in a fairly sensory-deprived orphanage.

I get the history.

Today we had to talk through the tears as we bandaged wounds and popped blisters.  Great big crocodile tears dropped onto her lap as we discussed the fact that parties don’t always happen for US.  Sometimes, they happen for OTHER people, too.  It’s a lesson that every kid needs to learn, but in her case, the lesson is a challenging one.

Christmas centerpiece

Remember when I wrote about her previous experience with parties here?

In the orphanages, when a child has a family coming for them, the family will often send a cake for the birthday girl or boy. I have seen so many of these pictures posted by families in the wait, and I notice that often, there are just a few kids sitting at the little table with the fancy cake, and there are often many others in the background. Others that are not a part of the party or of the fun. Just watching.  The cake, after all, isn’t big enough for all of the kids, especially if it’s a large orphanage with many many children residing there.

Christmas is one big birthday party.  Literally!  As we remember the birth of  Immanuel, we are thrown into a whirlwind of celebrations.  And, she loves it!  Except when it’s not for her.

It’s not her party, today.  And it’s causing a flood of emotions for her that goes far beyond the typical, “I want it to be about me” attitude that all of humanity battles.  She is deathly afraid of missing out.  She has missed out on SO. MUCH.  And she knows it.

So today?  We take a fistful of candy canes with us to help calm the nerves.  We practice being happy for others, and we practice looking back (on yesterday!) and remembering the fun we had then.

There will be tears.  Please know that her tears have been formed deep in a well of loss and pain that none of us can fully comprehend.  It’s okay for her to cry because it’s not her party today.  All things historical considered, I wouldn’t expect anything else.    I also expect that today will be a of choices for ME.  Today can be a good day. It can be a day where she feels even more secure as a result of the way I respond to her grief.  Or, not.  I’m making it a goal to choose wisely.

And now, off to celebrate!

Merry Christmas, friends!

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