As I'm sure I've mentioned before, my daughter is not much of a "playdate enthusiast". In yet another demonstration of how she takes after her mama, Mikayla likes her downtime at home. She is happily social at school, and does fine when invited to hang out at others' house - but if she were to plan her time in advance, she'd probably prefer a day without after-school plans vs. one that included activities and friends.
It's a bittersweet thing, then, when she finds her friendship circle growing (due to an incredibly "stacked" class of very sweet and social girls) and more of these friends are asking her to visit their homes for playdates. With every playdate she attends, I tally up a mental checklist of all the dates we need to reciprocate. We were getting a bit behind, so I suggested to Mikayla that we take care of them all in one fell swoop by taking a group of girls to go see "Happy Feet 2" at the Dollar Theater. Easy peasy for me, a fun outing for them - and I feel a little bit less guilty for being a slacker in reciprocating playdates.
In the picture below - from left to right:
"new friend" Meg, Mikayla, BF Kenady, Piper, "new friend" Harley, and Anika (Kenady's sister)
And for the record, I did not suggest that they sit on the floor of the dirty theater....they did that all on their own.
The only sour note out of this experience was some hurt feelings that resulted from folks that weren't invited. Oh crud.... One girl in particular had a real hard time that she was not asked to attend, and it turned into a big drama by Friday afternoon. Mikayla was crying, sad that she was upset. There's an extra complication in that the mom of this girl happens to be someone I know and have had my own experiences surrounding hurt feelings with. Ughhhh, this could get messy.
Fortunately, through a series of Facebook Message conversations - the first worded on my FB account to the girl's account by Mikayla was an apology - and then a dialogue between the mom and I today. I am SO THANKFUL to report that while we may have struggled in the past, we definitely are on the same playing field today wanting to look out for our daughters, but not over-coddling them to believe they'll always be in the mix of every invite. I was able to clear up a rumor that the only reason this girl wasn't invited was because of our past issues (it absolutely was not a factor, it had more to do with a potential conflict with her daughter and one of the other girls we had to reciprocate playdates with) - and to be able to say that with a clear heart felt good. I'm also happy that this girl and my daughter ARE friends - she's a special girl that I've had a fondness for ever since she was born.
So, while this experience may have caused concern for Mikayla - and yes, a few tears, it proved to me that while "drama" will always be part of life, sometimes time can do a lot to repair - and over the years - with a huge dose of God's grace and a little maturity, it does get easier to handle.