Mom's Letter After Son With Down Syndrome Was Left Out Of Birthday Party Is A Must Read
Nobody likes to be left out and when it comes to school parties, it can be excruciating to figure out who to invite to your kids' parties without having to go broke feeding 50 children pizza and ice cream or leaving some kids out and starting a clique of mean kids. It's not an easy line to navigate, which is why if you do go the "invite the whole class" route, you have to invite the entire class. Which is why this mother of a son with Down Syndrome wrote a letter to the mom who didn't invite her son to a birthday party. Because he was the only kid left out.
Having a soiree with a small group of six of your kid's besties and leaving out the other 20 kids in the class is one thing. It's a terrible feeling for the child and the parents of the child, who are left wondering, "what the hell is wrong with me/us that we couldn't come eat your crappy birthday cake in the first place?" (Birthday cake is always disappointing, let's be real.) Jennifer Kiss-Engele, from Canada, took to Facebook to talk about her son Sawyer, Down Syndrome, and her own struggles making sure Sawyer gets everything — even friends — that he deserves.
Sawyer can come party w/ me on my birthday. || Mom speaks up after son with Down syndrome excluded from party https://t.co/6rd2XLtcz9— Moo (@holleratfaller) June 25, 2016
She starts off super rational, saying that she understands that no one is "entitled" to an invite, but given that it was reportedly an "intentional decision" to not invite her son Sawyer to the shindig.
She then shares her own personal experience learning about Down Syndrome and the difficulties that come with raising a child with Down Syndrome. And she wrote that she feels the mother's pain and did nothing to really shame her. Instead she empathized with how hard it is to teach your kids the big stuff.
She then admits that maybe she should have taken better care of educating people about Down Syndrome and taking more control of his social life.
That's a pretty brave and vulnerable message for everyone. Luckily, the story has a happy ending as Kiss-Engele wrote in an update to her original post. The mother talked to her son and had him create a special invite for Sawyer, who has been "beaming" ever since. What's nice about this story and this mom's letter is that it's not a rant and it's not angry. It's not a Mommy War. It's just one mother standing up for her son and understanding that parenting is hard as anything. Almost as hard as elementary school social wars.