I throw a ton of parties. At least over 250 a year. But you want to know something? I personally get very few invitations to attend parties.
As I write this, I realize that it makes me sound like a total loser. But it’s true! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hurting for something to do on a Saturday night, and I do get a lot of folks who say, “Sophie, I’d love for you to come to my party, but I know you’ll be busy...” I’m either running a party or planning a party when most other people are throwing their parties.
So I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly touched I was a few weeks ago when one of the little guys who attends my library workshops approached me shyly and handed me a smudge envelope sealed with stickers. He was inviting me to his fourth birthday party!
His mom looked at me apologetically. “I know you are probably way too busy, but he really wanted to invite you.”
I was actually stunned. No child has ever invited me to their party before. Well, one that’s not family, or a potential client. (I inevitably get the, “When it’s my birthday I want you to come!” from party guests all the time, but those don’t count.) I think I must have stood there with my mouth hanging open, because the mom automatically started reassuring me that I didn’t have to come, and that they understood my schedule and time were precious, that it was just going to be a simple get together in the park, nothing over the top (although they were going to have a lion dancer!). Meanwhile, my mind was quickly sorting through my day to see if I could possibly make it... and I actually thought I could fit in a brief visit between events. It was on the way from one event to the next. Hmmm... could I do it? I assured the mom that I’d try to pop in if I could.
I drove home that night trying to figure out how I could rearrange my schedule to make it all work. I was just so touched that I had been invited that I had to make it happen.
The day of the party was a crazy-maker: there was a football game at the stadium, and a concert in the park, traffic was a nightmare, and there was no parking anywhere... but I was determined to make an appearance, if only for a few minutes. By the grace of God I was able to make it all work, and I was able to stop by for a quick hug and a glimpse of the dragon dancers carrying their head. It was brief, but it was very sweet, and I felt so honored to be included. It’s not every day that a four-year-old asks you to come to their party, and although I’m sure that it wouldn’t have been noticed if I didn’t come, it still made a real impression on my own heart.
What I’d like to impart from this experience is how much it meant to me to be asked. I’m sure there are parents out there whose kids would like to invite an adult, and the parents think, “Oh, I can’t invite the karate instructor / ballet teacher / kindergarten class parent, they wouldn’t want to come to a kid’s party. They’ll think it’s weird.” But speaking from being the one on the receiving end of an invite like that, it’s the most heartwarming feeling in the world. So if you’re on the fence about such an invite, I encourage you to go for it. Of course they may not be able to come, but you never know just how much it will mean.