View From The Glen

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Good and Bad

I spent a wonderful day at the Beach with Grace today, while her dad and siblings were away in Perth on a Scouting trip.

Grace on the Beach
Wonderful because the weather was breezy and hot and beautiful. Wonderful because we visited friends who are camping there for the summer. Their son is in Grace's class so the pair of 9 year olds had a great time in the sand and water while we got to chat. Wonderful because I got a chance to really get to know another woman I've wanted to meet for a long time and she turned out to be just as lovely and interesting as I expected. Wonderful because Grace got invited to spend the night at the campsite and so she too gets to have a weekend adventure.

Lots of good things happening.

And part of me thinks it cancels out the bad...the fact that Grace didn't want to go to school yesterday partly because she was the only grade 3 girl not invited to another girl's birthday party and the other girls (all 5 of them) have been talking about the party (movie: Brave, and a sleepover) all week and Grace has felt left out. She was pretty morose this morning despite the kittens and the chinchilla, and that's unusual for my cheerful, happy go-lucky girl. When I found out why, I was upset on her behalf and, well, a bit pissy too.

The birthday girl, who Grace is friendly with, told Grace it's because her mother doesn't really know me.

So now, here it is, mom guilt. If I had Grace in dance... If I made an effort to volunteer at the school... If I was more social and got to know the other parents more... But beneath that, there is kind of a subdued rage.

Why would you leave one kid out? Why? Why? Why? So you don't know what? I mean they all play together at school, so how psychotic could she be..?


So off we went for a great day...which we had. And while we were at the beach, talking to the wonderful woman I mentioned above (whose son is also in Grace's class), the birthday girl's father appeared and lo and behold they were at the beach too. He stopped and chatted about how tired his daughter was after her sleepover and then we were introduced and he said yes, he knew Grace Nielsen, and Grace and her friend went down to the water to play with the birthday girl....

And I, dear reader....? I did not say a word about Grace's disappointment or ask the questions that I so wanted to ask, or act in any way ungracious or annoyed.

Because, you know, they're nice people. And maybe it was an oversight. Maybe they didn't realize there are only six grade 3 girls. Maybe having lived here all their lives they have so many friends there is no room for one more. Maybe their finances were capped at 5 kids for movie tickets and the line had to be drawn.

I get all that. But still, it's heartbreaking to see one little girl getting left out. Brings out my inner tiger mom.

So when she was invited to stay over with her friend, I was very happy for her. I left her at the campsite, all smiles, trying out the new zero gravity lawn chairs.

And the day ended well.


Wicked Julia said...

That must have been profoundly difficult. I think you handled the situation beautifully but, I feel for both you and your daughter. I am glad it ended on such a good note for all of you.

Denise Nielsen said...

Thank you. Being gracious under fire is not one of my strong suits...but I am always impressed when I see other people handle things well.

Eileen said...

Well, Denise, I feel an absolute rage at the sort of parents that would invite everyone in the class, except one little girl. I find it hard to believe that they are truly "nice" if they do something like that. You handled the situation with class and dignity, which I'm certain is more than I would have done.

Denise Nielsen said...

To be, fair, Eileen, it is a split grade 2/3 class so she wasn't the only girl not invited...just the only grade 3 still seems unfair to me because she still felt left out but...

Anyway, what can you do? I feel better for writing and appreciate the supportive comments here and on Twitter. Trying not to let it bother me too much.

Bibliomama said...

Ugh. I would have been livid. Then again, I'm sure I've made stupid mistakes that have offended people on a regular basis, so I appreciate the grace with which you handled the situation.

Leanne Haines said...

As a mom of an almost-nine-year-old who has been in exactly the same situation, I feel your pain. It's so hard to see our kids hurt! You did handle it with grace (no pun intended!) I'm impressed!