This coming Saturday, my daughter L was supposed to have a birthday party. I say SUPPOSED TO because thanks to not ONE of her classmates’ parents RSVP’ing, we’re not having it. Sorry, correction, one mother did RSVP a day late. Better late than never, I guess but I had to call her back and tell her the party was canceled and why. She felt awful and so did her daughter. Trust me, they didn’t feel as awful as I did, not to mention my DAUGHTER.
My daughter has the bad luck of having a summer birthday. She was due in the middle of June but since she was stubborn and decided she preferred it inside my uterus, she was born 12 days late at the END of the month which makes it even worse.
When we lived in CT, it was never an issue. For several years we simply had a large party with just our families and neighbors. Everyone always RSVP’d. At her last birthday before we moved, she invited a couple of friends form her day care. Again, the RSVP’s were not an issue.
When her first birthday here in Florida rolled around, we didn’t have a party for a couple of reasons. The main reason was we only knew one other family. The other reason was my sister was getting married in NH right before her birthday so we had that to prepare and travel for. We ended up celebrating with our one set of friends on the 4th of July. Luckily, she was OK with that.
Fast forward to the following year. Just as school ended, I sent in birthday invitations to be distributed to her class. And we also handed out invitations to 3 neighboring families. The neighbors were easy…we could always follow up with them when we saw them so I wasn’t worried about them. And honestly, since I thought most people practiced common courtesy, I didn’t think the classmates would be an issue either. Boy, was I wrong. We got a few RSVP’s from her classmates right away, most of them no’s and then they stopped. Now since her class had a decent room mother last year, I had several email addresses and I knew who they belonged to so I was able to send out a reminder as the RSVP date got closer. But I was still nervous. I prepared L for the possibility of not having a party. I assured her that if it came to that, we would plan something equally as awesome for that day. In response to my email, we got several more yes’s and a few more no’s. The party was on but I was still a bit surprised at the lack of calling, no matter what the response was. It went off with a hitch, but I dreaded having to do it all over again the following year.
This year I sent in/handed out the invitations even earlier. And since L said she only wanted to invite the girls, that’s what we did. Again, I didn’t worry about the neighbors (who are all girls) but from the second the invitations went into school, I had a pit in my stomach. And for good reason. The room mother this year wasn’t, ummm, as good as last year’s. I had email addresses but no clue who belonged to which one so that didn’t help me since only the girls were invited. Again, I prepared L for the possibility of not having a party. As the RSVP date got closer, she seemed to get more upset which broke my heart. One morning she said “Maybe the kids don’t think my party will be fun.” I had to FIGHT not to cry. Hubby, who has a summer birthday a week after L’s, talked to her about having the same problem growing up. That seemed to help. And I started suggesting things to do instead. I told her I would take her for a pedicure and then maybe we could go miniature golfing or bowling. She seemed to perk up at those ideas.
Lo and behold, the RSVP date came and went with not one call. I had already let a couple of the neighbors know that the party probably wouldn’t be happening. Then the next day, we got the one RSVP. The mother sounded as angry as I was. I told her it was probably a side effect of having a summer birthday but she replied with EXACTLY what I had been thinking, “But the parents…they should STILL call.” It was comforting to hear it from someone else. I invited her and her daughter to join us in whatever we decide to do and she said they would be delighted to. That made my daughter’s day. So did talking on the phone with her classmate.
I’ll admit I felt a little better but I am still angry. Have some common courtesy. This is a CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY…a child with FEELINGS. It’s one thing to act like a douche when it comes to an adult’s party but not RSVP’ing for a CHILD’S party??? Unforgivable. And if someone DOES decide to show up, they’ll be met with an empty house and a sign on the door that says due to the lack of response, we assumed no one was coming. I’m afraid if we stay home, I might slug someone.