Our September Hospitality Month is coming to an end and only one child has started and completed the task.

Friday rolled around much faster than Speed Police expected. Either that or she is so accustomed to things “appearing” or happening on their own, she never realized quite the effort that goes into hosting a function in your home. The more you host … the easier it gets; but this was her first time.

She all but ignored my suggestions to prepare ahead of time. So, instead of enjoying a leisurely ride home from school to get there before the party began, we had a few stops to make. (Nothing like scheduling a party at 4 when you don’t get home from school until 3:30.)

Can’t party without refreshments…

especially these healthy items!

She was great, though, to let a friend help her.

Love that lesson.

I guess she hasn’t reached that age where we women feign self-sufficiency by never accepting help when offered.

She also accepted strawberries left over from a neighbor’s party earlier that morning,

and her friend’s mother’s offer to pick up the special cupcake treat.

… that ate almost her entire budget.

 Her guests sure felt special.

Small problem.

This is the time when they entered the store to retrieve their nutrient infused snacks.
By the time we got home, three guests had already arrived.

Welcomes were exchanged. Snacks were served. Then the White Elephant game began. The girls had a blast! Laughter and squeals of delight echoed through the house.

The gifts were a hoot.

Middle school hilarity.

First frozen gift.

They agreed 2 trades before an item froze.

Another home-run.

Practical items, but

no trades … Poor thing.
I did my best to completely steer clear, but at one point I n
oticed Speed Police looking a bit blue. The kid is continually morphing into Fickle Fannie these days. Who knows what mood might be staring you in the face at any point in time. Especially in situations where she feels stressed.

Okay, so the truly sweet thing has some major hormonal action swirling around in her changing body, an inevitable and undeniable part of coming in and out of womanhood. (I know we’re still women at the end, but my word… who knew the crazies on that side of things?!) The annoying aspect is her attempt to cover it all up. That’s where the fickle emotional warfare rears its ugly head. If she would just be honest about her thoughts and feelings, it would be SO much easier. I could help her smooth the bumps, realize that the world is not falling apart and know that she is loved.

Quietly, I mouth whisper from across the room, “Your friends are having a great time. … Is everything okay?”
She shoots me the Why-Are-You-Talking-To-Me, What-Do-You-Know, Whatever look and annunciates, “Yes.” She then tries to hide an eye-rolled “Gosh”, but I saw and heard it … Best to walk away from that mine field.

Oh, if only she could just be honest in the moment. Honest with just me…she doesn’t need to bare all in front of her friends. The girl would feel infinitely better if she would quit clinging, let go of her emotional stubbornness. I love her so much. I just wish she would let me help her. But she has to ask… I’m not jumping in to save today.

Hmmm. I might need to take a peek in the mirror. I think this one applies to me in a fairly significant way. How often do I throw the same eye-rolled What-Do-You-Know to God. How often is He watching it all, asking for my honesty … ready to help … waiting for me to ask, to let go of my stubbornness.

Well, you really are walking the road with me today. Oh the things there are to learn about yourself through your kids’ behavior.

The party was a HUGE success. As departing girls headed my way to offer thanks for such a wonderful party, I directed them straight to Speed Police who not only came up with a great idea (Slow Walker wants to do the same thing) but provided a fun environment to bless her friends.

We both have good lessons to learn, like:

  • Consider a little time management on the front end.
  • Guests don’t need super snazzy, they just love being together.
  • Try to show up at your own party at least 30 before it starts. Guests just might show up early.
  • A fun activity brings everyone together and breaks any cliquey weirdness.
  • Don’t leave until the last guest has left (Oh, yeah … the kid bailed for a better offer while 2 girls waiting for their moms to pick them up. Totally out of character for her. Is it wrong to chalk all these whacky decisions up to hormones?!!)
  • Who knew hosting a party from beginning to end could mean so much to a 12 year old? None of her friends have ever done it. The effort and success truly made her feel like a million bucks. It fed so many needs. Who cares if I was picking up cupcake crumbs two hours later. (okay, so maybe not 2! … it felt like it, though)

I just hope we remember to pause long enough to the lessons them sink in.

Next up? I’m not sure. The others have grand plans but haven’t pulled the invite trigger.

Thanks for walking the road with me.

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