Little E had a birthday party this past weekend. If you could even call it that. We decided to have it this past weekend instead of this coming weekend since even though his birthday is on July 30th (this Friday) we always have trouble getting people to come on the weekend of his actual birthday since here in Canada it’s a long weekend/holiday weekend. So we had the party earlier which he was fine with. Anyway he wanted to handle inviting his friends on his own, by either texting or talking to them through kid’s messenger. So I agreed and kinda monitored what he wrote just to make sure they were invited at the right time/place and all that. We couldn’t do anything that exciting or fancy since I can’t drive so he just invited them all to the beach during the day and a few to stay and sleepover that night. All good right? Wrong. Even though we chose the weekend before the holiday, so many were out of town, either camping or something like that. A few did say they would be there so he was OK, and looking forward to it. The morning of, two more called and canceled because they were sick. So the time of the party roles up, and one kid from school shows up. One. We head to the beach and Little E knocks on the door of the neighbor boys where two of them live to tell them we’re headed to the beach now since the two boys had previously said they would come to his party. One of the boys is away at a friends place. So only one boy from school and one boy in the park came to his party. Then, at the beach I text another mom in the park who had said her and her son would come, to let her know we were all at the beach if they wanted to join us then, and she’s like oh I’m not home and my boy just wants to hang at home maybe another time. Like she had totally forgotten. I was just so frustrated with everyone. We had literally gone to her sons birthday two weeks ago and it’s like can you not take two hours out of your life to celebrate my boy?
The very worst part though, was E. I sent him a message a few days before asking if he planed on sending anything for the kids birthdays this year. You know what he replied? When are their birthdays? Oh My Fucking God! Little E is turning 11 this year and you are his dad and you can’t even remember not only that his birthday is coming up, but when it is after eleven years of it. It made me so mad that I couldn’t even respond. Like talk about an award for worse parenting ever.
Anyway, back to the birthday ‘party’ I felt so bad for Little E. There are two boys and Z at his party. Plus the neighbor boy didn’t even bring a gift. Not that gifts are the only thing that express friendship but, he had one little gift sitting on the table. So, he opened his gift, and it was a chocolate bar and a gift card for an online game he likes to play. Little E has never gotten a gift card before, so once he opened it they asked to play the game and redeem the card. Sure why not. But since he had never gotten one before, when he couldn’t scratch it off with his nail, he got a knife and scratched the whole code off and put it in the garbage. He didn’t know that was the code you needed to redeem online with. So I come out of the washroom and I see them digging in the garbage can. I’m like what’s going on? They explain and Little E’s frustrated since he’s like I didn’t know. So I just take him outside for a bit and his friends like I’ll keep looking.
We’re outside and he just tears up and was like I’m frustrated no one came to my party and I’ve recked it etc. So I just get him to take a breath and slow down a bit. First off, it wasn’t because people don’t like you, it’s because they had plans before you invited them. And we can’t change it if they are sick. All we can do is make the best situation of what we have now. I told him I’d buy him the online game gift card because what he did was an accident, but he needed to slow down a bit. Try to enjoy the people who are here instead of worrying about the ones who aren’t. He took a few moments to calm down a bit and then went inside to try and enjoy the rest of his day.
I think what made it the most difficult for him was the fact that the two boys who did show up didn’t know each other and were from different places in Little E’s life. One was from school and the other from home so he was trying to spend the whole time back and forth between both. Then add in the fact that they were all into different things, and a grade level apart, it was a stressful party for him. I was just glad when it was over because watching him try and deal with it, I felt bad for him, and I think he was glad too.
It’s My Party / Lesley Gore