Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday.
How wonderful these past 6 years have been now that Little-Love is in the world.
But like all holidays since finding out the news: I was dreading her birthday.
Mostly because my sweet girl just kept asking for a “family” party…
I was up all night for months trying to think through my options. Do I invite the entire school and distract her by sheer size? Do I take her on a trip? Just get out of town as a way to confuse the issue?
See, I knew that most people on her list would either be unable, or unwilling to attend.
My stress and anxiety levels have never been higher. (I am COVERED in zits.)
Praise the Lord, I asked one family if their daughter could come to a sleepover and they said “sure.”
All casual like.
And I wept.
There was nothing simple about it, at least not for us.
So, she had one cousin to celebrate with. Whew.
After a lot of late night/whispered discussions, Adam and I just decided to throw a party and invite everyone. I took a breath and sent out a Facebook invite to family, friends, the church, everyone.
And then we prayed.
The morning of the party I was in a total internal panic. God, please let my daughter have a good day. I kept getting calls and texts backing out of the party, all for very legitimate reasons, but I was simply terrified that no-one would come.
What if my daughter is punished for the sins of her parents? What do we say to her?
“Sorry Honey, but people just hate us more then they love you.”
We just kept at it: cooking meat, cleaning, prepping. The cake arrived but the friend who made it had gotten sick and couldn’t join us.
That was the one person I was really counting on!
Then to my horror, my daughter pulled me aside and asked me, point blank, who was coming.
She looked me in the eye and started naming off names–it was time to face the music. As I continued saying “no” to each person on her list her beautiful blue eyes filled with tears.
Oh y’all, you cannot imagine the pain.
Up until that moment I had brushed off her questions with a, “we will see” or “Um, I’ll double check but I don’t think so.”
But with only a few minutes until her party I couldn’t avoid the truth any longer.
And my daughter wept.
Worst. moment. ever.
I held my baby in my “failed-mommy” arms as I tried to reassure my girl that “I’m sure people would come.”
And then, as if on cue…
Our church family showed up.
Our neighborhood family showed up.
Our workout partners, our coffee dates…
Our friends showed up.
And they brought gifts. They swept my girl up into big hugs. They told her she was beautiful. They smothered her in kisses–and my girl laughed, and played, and blew out her candles on her amazing cake.
And the party went on for hours.
She had a family party after all, thank you, Jesus!!!
This year has been so hard, and the very worst part is watching my children suffer the effects. I am simply forever grateful for the people who love my kids. For the people who haven’t left our side. The people who have loved us through our ugly. The people who have brought us back to life.
I will love you folks forever.
I can never-ever thank you enough.