Friday, August 19, 2011

Ellie's birthday invitations

Soon, our sweet Ellie will be 6. Ellie's birthday is one year and three days behind one of her friends and classmates, Danielle. Danielle was in Ellie's class when we first started at Beehive, and they are in the same class again now that Ellie has moved up. Having friends already in the class is not a given, and it was a wonderful transition point for our sensitive girl. When Danielle's mom realized their parties might be on the same weekend, she suggested we have a joint party. I was reluctant. Our family limits party size: the age you are is the number of kids you can invite. Sharing that party means Ellie can only invite 3 people (unless the guest requests overlap). She wants to invite some younger friends from her old class, while Danielle has been out of that class for two years now. It was if-y, but when we floated the idea to the girls, Ellie was thrilled! How could I say no?

This afternoon, Danielle came over after school so they could make their invitations together. It's going to be an art party, so handmade invitations seemed the only way to go. We gave the girls a pile of materials: markers, colored pencils, crayons, stickers, glue, scissors, collage materials, sequins... Stickers was the only draw.

Ellie is so proud of her newfound ability to read and write with confidence that she was having none of the idea that I write the information on the invitations for her. Knowing older children are invited, this mama was nervous about her phonetic spelling lest she be horribly teased about a great source of pride. She is so sensitive, and I'm such a mama bear. I told her invitations were not like letters, that they had to have the same information, that the moms needed specific details...but she was having none of my reasons. I offered to write it all out for her (and did so), but she had zero interest in copying my work. She wrote her 3 invitations, each identical at the start but incorporating a little more detail than the last until the third looked like this:

I want to keep and treasure this sweet invitation. Of course, I have to send it. Thank the Lord she has addressed it to another sweet soul whom I cannot imagine would ever tease her. Still, I just want to hold it for my very own, a fleeting moment in the growth and development of this darling little girl who won't be little for very much longer.

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