Sunday, January 20, 2013

Crazy, Brave, or Something Else?

This weekend I threw a sleepover party for Katherine's tenth birthday.  Ten friends plus my daughter spent an afternoon, night, and morning together.

My friends' response to this was nearly unanimous: they said either "you're crazy!" or "you're so brave!"

I may be crazy, and I may be brave, but this is proof of neither.

I absolutely love that my daughter has such rich, deep, meaningful friendships - she's known many of these girls for her whole life.

I absolutely love that these families trust me with their children.

I absolutely love that my home can (barely!) fit such an abundance.

I love that in a world of consumerist craziness, my daughter's idea of heaven consists of a row of sleeping bags sandwiched together in a basement, lots of giggling, and home made birthday cake.

I love that I am not sick, and so I can find the energy to host such a gathering.

I love that I have my own relationships with each of these children, and so they listen to me.  Some came up and asked to help make breakfast (chocolate chip buttermilk pancakes, sausage - vegetarian and meaty, fruit, juice) and they measured and chatted and sang along with Brandi Carlisle with me as we cooked.

I love that my house is decorated with streamers, balloons, and happy birthday banners (one of which has been used every year since Katherine was one - it used to say "Happy First Birthday" and I cut out the word "First" to keep using it).

I love that I was able to say "Yes" when my daughter asked for a sleepover party.

I love that I am fully capable of doing it on my own. (Never mind that I'm on my fourth cup of coffee just to survive.)

I love that when the parents showed up for pick up and drop off, they said things like "My daughter has such a great time here" and "your home is so warm and inviting."  My house is not among the nicest in my friend group (it may be in the bottom half), but somehow....we always end up here.  I love that.

I love that one of my dearest friends, whom I have known since college, who does not have children of her own, came to help me with dinner and companionship, helping me to dish up tortellini and make caesar salad, because she has a special relationship with Katherine, too.  Another friend popped in after her date with her husband, and we shared some wine and conversation and laughter.  Wonderful.

I love that I felt strong enough to invite Bryan to come by to celebrate with our daughter.  I love that he said that he had no desire at all to attend....and that his refusal reminded me that it is actually easier to do these types of things without his growling presence.  (If he'd have come, I would have been pleased at the support that he was offering our girl.  His loss.)

I love that my life looks like these simple pleasures, that I have not lost sight of it in the midst of the pain of cancer or divorce.  I love that I know how to suck the marrow from life.  I love that I know how to enjoy a crazy sleepover, that my home was filled with laughing children, that my daughter has that kind of joy in her life.

It's not about bravery or insanity, it's about joy.  And I love that best of all.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome.......... I did the sleepover a month ago for one child and I have a birthday party next Saturday for the little one. I'm so mad at my ex I can't bear to see him but I did invite him. We'll see. Love your attitude and gratitude. This did me a world of good.