Sometimes it’s difficult to fight the urge to not want to create little mini versions of myself. It’d be so much easier if all my kids were wired in the same way as me so we could all just “get” each other. They’d understand why I need things to stop being so loud sometimes, why I need some space, why when I get an idea I get the urge to just hop on it before my creativity is gone. But of course I also know that’d be a recipe for disaster. None of us would remember anything, we’d have unbalanced bank accounts, and we’d likely have too much excitement going on that it’d scare people off. So it’s good that we’re all different, with each of my kids showcasing passions and gifts that are wired within me but also ones in my husband . . . and some of their own altogether. The tough part is remembering that I need to be nurturing their true selves, even when it feels unnatural for me.
Case in point My 5-year-old wanting to plan a party for every single person she knows. Just because it’s Fall. Oh wait, no because it’s Halloween. Heck, how about a party for both?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about planning. I want things to be organized and well thought out. I don’t like last-minute plans being made. This is one reason my husband and I get along well. We both like to be early (definitely not late but even on time is a little nerve-wrecking for us). But sitting through all the details of planning something can become boring quickly. And planning a party for a ton of people? That’s hair-raising. Having just one or two couples over for a meal is good for me. I can handle that. I have no desire to host some big event or plan it. I’ll leave that to my super extroverted and planning-savvy husband.
But my daughter has captured pieces of both of us. And so she got an idea in her head and can’t get it out (me) and she is in ultra-planning mode thinking through all the details every single day of her life until it happens and she can close that box (my husband).
When Lily said she wanted to have a party, she immediately had to start talking about it in detail. Without help, she was coming up with a food list, a decorations list, and those she wanted to invite. Of course it was organized on a piece of paper and she was thinking about where she could purchase her party supplies and food. She literally wanted to invite like every single person she knew. It became a bit too much for my somewhat-introverted self. But I wanted to nurture her gifts and passions. I know she likes to plan things and I know she would be around people 24/7 if she could but I simply can’t let her.
So I said, “You know what hunny? I think Daddy would be a great person to plan this party with. Daddy loves to plan and he’s really good at making sure all the details are thought through.”
Dodged that bullet. #delegationatitsbest
They sat down and narrowed the list down to 12 guests, 3 sweet foods, 1 savory, 3 drinks, and supplies. Then I was able to help by bringing Lily shopping for her party and making sure we got all the invitations to everyone.
She spends her rest time in the afternoon making preparations (which means making piles for each guest and some special hand-made treats for them). She goes over her list on a daily basis to make sure she hasn’t forgot anything. She has created a space for all of her party supplies so she knows exactly where everything is and stays organized. It’s insane and yet precious.
So why am I telling you all this? Because we need to remember to allow our kids the opportunities to use their wings to fly in the areas that they are capable and willing. It sometimes means making a sacrifice on our part but it is beautiful when our kids can take flight and soar, isn’t it?
Tomorrow is the “big day” and you know what I get to do the day after? Attend an intimate wedding of a dear friend and enjoy the celebration and not plan a single part of it. The timing couldn’t be better. ?
For the record, my prediction is that in the future our family will be like the Partridge Family but in the event planning business. We’ll see how things turn out.
Joe: CEO/Director of AVL
Lily: Event Planner/Booking Manager
New Baby: TBD