I love babies. I do. I love infancy, with blankets and onesies and pacifiers and up all night and spit up everywhere. I love swings and strollers and slings, and baby socks and pureed bananas and nursing. I love rolling over, and sitting up, and those first steps and first words. The main reason I couldn't imagine ever saying I'm done having kids is because that time is magical. As hard as it is, it's freaking magical and wondrous and I loved it.
One month into fourth grade, and I just thought to myself - "This is it, I'm not doing this anymore. I don't want any more kids, because this is breaking my heart. I'll be lucky to survive getting thru raising the three that I have." I just found out that my girl was the only kid not invited to a birthday party, and I can't believe I sent my daughter to school to find out on her own. The girls in her class all went to the circus last night, and Jessie wasn't invited. I want to cry. I did cry. The mom emailed me this morning, apologizing and saying that she must have had the phone number written down wrong, she had tried to call last night when they realized that Jessie hadn't been invited.
I'm devastated. My poor girl. She's not going to know that they tried to invite her, she's just going to know that every other girl went and she didn't get invited. I want to rush to the school and scoop her up and tell her I love her and feed her ice cream and lollipops. Which is so not the right way to respond, and I get it, I'm probably bringing a lot of my own baggage in here - but holy moly, my heart is breaking for her right now.
This is why people stop having kids. I know now. I never understood why people could say they were done. How could you be done? How could you not want to do this again? Feel that magic, that love, that connection? This is why. Because your kids are going to go thru stuff that's just so hard, and there's only so much your heart can take. There's only so much capacity - and they're way too vulnerable to be walking around out there, with girls not inviting them to parties. That ridiculous quote that I hear all the time, something about having a child is to let your heart walk around outside your body? I understand that now. Because I feel like she's just out there, no protection, and there's nothing I can do to shield her.
I know I'm being slightly ridiculous. I know that this stuff happens, and that Jess will get her heart broken a dozen times before she's done. I even know that if this is the worst thing that happens to Jessie today, she's still profoundly lucky. She's healthy, beautiful, intelligent and well adjusted. This won't devastate her for long, because she's got the capacity to move on, to roll with it. It might not even devastate her, she's certainly smart enough to understand that it was just an oversight and they wanted to invite her but had the phone number written down wrong. She's going to be fine, but I can't stop myself from feeling... horrible.