The problem with birthday parties

I get it with birthday parties. I really do. You want your child to have a fun time - it's his special day, after all. You want him to invite people he gets on with well and you don't want to end up with every kid in the school and all the mess they create. As children get older too, it's easier just to have 'your five best friends' and limit the numbers a bit.

It's just hard when your child is so awkward socially that he never fits into anyone's category of 'five best friends'. When you see other children get invited to each other's parties, but you count back over six years of preschool and school and you can only remember three birthday parties that your kid has been invited to, it's an ache that just kind of sits there.

It's just as hard on the odd occasion when your child does get invited, but they spend the whole time being anxious and upset because they don't know what to do or how to act.

And it hurts as well when your son prays, "Dear God, please make all my friends want to come to my superhero sleepover party when I turn 10," and your heart sinks and you think, "Really? How's that going to work out?"

Then it's hard when everyone brings cupcakes to school but they're usually full of things he can't eat so he has to refuse. And it's equally awful when he rejects the 'special occasion' cupcakes you've made for him for occasions such as this and says, "You shouldn't make cakes for me except for my birthday" and you know it's because he'd rather say 'no thanks' than be embarrassed by having to have a 'special' cake just for him.


I guess what I can do is make sure that those kinds of kids get invited to our birthday parties, and to teach my children to be inclusive as much as they are able.