I covered this topic a bit earlier in the year, but kindergarten changes everything …
Have you ever read or heard of the children’s storybook called “Moira’s Birthday” by Robert Munsch? While this isn’t a book review post, I’ll give you the gist of it because it’s relatable to this post: A young girl is getting ready to celebrate her birthday and wants to invite the entire school. (Grades K thru 5) Her parents tell her she can only invite five kids. She invites the whole school anyway and hilarity ensues.
And while this isn’t a “back in my day” post either I just have to add that, well, back in my day, I too was only allowed to invite a limited number of kids to my birthday parties; usually my closest friends who I played with on a daily basis. I’m sure there were some kids who felt left out (because I was soooooo cool) (not) but for the sake of my parent’s sanity it would be insanity if all 25-someodd kids in my class came to my house for my birthday.
Today, however, parents are expected to either hand out birthday invitations on the down-low like they’re handing out illicit drugs, or invite the entire class so no one’s feelings get hurt and then hope and pray that only a handful RSVP that they’re coming. The stress is real for me: it doesn’t feel right inviting an entire class of kindergarteners over for a party, but it also doesn’t feel right trying to pass out exclusive invites to only a select group of kids.
This age is hard. Isla is still “sorting” through her friends and there’s no clear indication who she’s closest with and who she doesn’t prefer to be around. I can understand the encouragement from teachers when parents are asked to invite every child to a birthday party, and I want to be fair to all the kids because I truly understand that it’s never fun to feel left out, but I also don’t believe it’s necessary to invite a bunch of kids who aren’t necessarily friends with my own, nor should those who may be bullying others be quasi rewarded for their actions.
I know I have a bit of time before I have to cross this bridge for myself, and perhaps by then I’ll figure out a method to get through this madness. For now, I certainly won’t question why Isla did or didn’t get invited to so-and-so’s party, as I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation for either. So far I haven’t been greeted by tears after school, so cheers to that.