Common Courtesy, Manners and The Sleepover That Didn't Happen

>> Saturday, March 15, 2014

I really didn't have a plan for a post.  I've been having some trouble coming up with things to write about lately, but an incident that happened yesterday just gave me a blank page -- ready for my thoughts and opinions.

I just have one question -- whatever happened to common courtesy, manners, compassion and being a good friend?

Last night, Nani was supposed to have a friend sleepover.  She's been talking about it for two weeks now.  I spoke with the mom numerous times prior to last night -- finding out if there were allergies, what her daughter liked to snack on, finalizing times and details, etc.  I saw the little girl at school that morning when I volunteered in Nani's class telling her that we were so excited to have her come over.

I had planned dinner and activities.  Come friend.  Come 7:00.....still no friend.  Nani was starting to get a little upset.  Nudgie was getting hungry.  Come 7:30....still no friend.  So I texted the mom...."Hi!  I hope everything is ok!  Nani is hoping that ---- will still be able to make it over!"  I get this text back:

"Yeah....well ---- decided she wanted to go bowling instead, so she's not coming"


I was stunned.  I was stunned and angry.  The more I read it, the angrier I got.  And then I had to have the horrible task of telling sweet Nani that her friend was not coming.  She was heartbroken and in tears and it broke my heart.  She went to her room and nothing would console her....not even the special ice cream sundae fixings I bought for the night.

Sadly -- this isn't the first time I've experienced this....both as a mother AND personally.

For Nani's 9th birthday, we planned a special party at Sweet & Sassy - a local "girlie" place.  Not cheap.  We invited 8 girls.  TWO RSVPd and the rest never showed up.  While Nani still had a good time, I was fuming.....

I, personally, had an experience where I had made plans with one friend only to get a text saying, "Hey, I'm doing something else instead".  No, "hey would you like to join us" and making me feel like my friendship wasn't worth the time or effort.  So, I KNEW how Nani felt.

I'll admit, too, that I'm not always the best at RSVPing.  Sometimes I do it past the deadline or respond after a gentle reminder from whoever is holding the event -- but even then, I apologize profusely for not responding -- because I know what's involved with planning and expense.

I know I haven't been the best friend throughout my life and I know that I have disappointed and hurt friends myself.  But I'm hoping to teach my girls through my mistakes.  I want to teach them to be kind and remember others' feelings.  I want to teach them to be inclusive....that when they are with a group of friends (whether at their own party or somewhere else) to be kind to everyone....just not that one friend that you want to spend time with.  I want them to have manners -- responding to an invitation and following through with that invitation even if something else come along that you want to do.

I held my baby girl last night as she cried.  I cried with her.  As she sniffled in my arms, she looked at me and said "Mommy, that wasn't being a good friend, was it?"  I asked her what she thought and she said, "No, that was not being a good friend....but you know what, I'll still be her friend.  I'll still talk to her at school and I'll play with her on the playground and we'll talk about books....because that's what a good friend does.  Even though she hurt me, I don't want to hurt her like that. 

What she said next, stunned me into speechlessness and tears......

"All those people hurt Jesus, but He still loved them.  If Jesus can do that, then I can too."


Lynn Mayden March 15, 2014 at 6:51 PM  

You are such a great mom! I can't believe a friend's mom would let her do this to your daughter. I would have told her you have committed to a sleepover you can bowl another night. You only cancel for illness and even then you call the family before the arrival time. Ugh!

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