Family Life · Heather


Canceling my daughter’s birthday party was hard.

I’m writing this at 4:15 and her party was going to start at 4:00. It’s raining outside right now, and she had originally wanted to get out our inflatable swimming pool and sprinkler for her birthday party. Nothing has gone as planned.

My daughter is asleep in my bed. She threw up last night and has been feeling off and on today. I don’t know if she’s contagious with some sort of germ, something she ate, or something else is going on. But she did need some rest today, and I think it was a bit of relief for her when she wasn’t going to have a party because she just hasn’t been feeling quite right.

I also woke up with a minor eye infection, probably related to the bit of a cold I’ve been trying to ignore. And so I don’t want everyone coming to a party and going home and then developing colds, eye infections, and throwing up. Party favor: germs. Not a good idea.

We had to cancel. But it was still hard to make that decision. I have planned this party and planned it again. I’m not very good at throwing parties in the first place, and I really wanted to make my daughter happy. She loves being with her friends. We don’t live in a neighborhood with kids, and so any time spent playing with friends has to be planned out in advance. So sometimes she just ends up feeling a bit lonely–and sick of her younger brother.

I think sometimes I want my daughter to be happy so bad, any disappointment hurts me a lot more than it hurts her. Everyone faces a lot of disappointment, even at a young age. My toddler is learning this, as sometimes he just can’t get what he wants, even when he wants it really bad.

I like to say yes as a parent. I HATE saying no, and so sometimes I’m so ornery when I’m saying no that it doesn’t make things any better because my child has to deal with the negative answer and the orneriness at the same time. I mess up a lot. It’s such an emotional journey, and sometimes the wrong emotions come out.

I never thought that being a parent meant that you’d have to learn how to deal with your child’s disappointments–and that’s a lot harder than dealing with your own. You are so emotionally invested in your children sometimes. Being a mother is amazing. Even when I have to stay up late cleaning carpet. Even when I have to cancel parties. I really do love my kids. I love it so much it hurts sometimes.

(old picture–she no longer sucks her thumb)

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