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The Family Party

Tuesday, 9 July 2019  |  Admin

A Family Party

I’ll be completely honest with you, the word party actually fills me with dread.

Whether it’s a birthday invitation in a school bag, or a well meaning family member who has decided that they would like us to attend their gathering.

It isn’t because I don’t think events are worth celebrating. On the contrary I do.

And I love shopping for and wrapping the perfect gifts, so it isn’t that either.

But the reality is parties are unpredictable.

They are full of multiple people, each with their own agenda about what a ‘party’ should involve.

The children of course, both have their own, very different ideas and can easily get upset if those expectations don’t get met.

I worry about that of course. But I also worry that their distress will cause distress to others.

And even more than both of those, I worry that the distress of one will cause the distress of the other.

With one it was easy. If a party didn’t work. We kindly, unobtrusively left. The Bear on the whole was keen to exit when things didn’t go well, and our friends and family understood.

With two that is harder, especially if the party works for one and not the other. Disappointment is inevitable.

It has if I’m honest made me more reluctant than ever to attend.

This weekend however, I sucked up the courage and decided to be a brave.

The party being at my brothers, we concocted a plan whereby we would arrive a full two hours before the other guests - and arrived tin of hot dog sausages in hand - currently the staple food of the Lion’s diet.

As far as the Bear was concerned it was a quick Easter visit. The grown ups were in the loop. Any more was a bonus.

And in a wonderful twist of fate, the sun shon. The doors were open. The garden is spacious. There was room, there was freedom. There was Play doh.

The children and the adults had a wonderful time.

I was glad I’d been brave. But more than that I was grateful to my incredible brother and my wonderful sister in law, who no matter what is needed to make it work, do so. Not because they have to, but because they want to.

And to families like ours that means the world.

Because with understanding and acceptance comes inclusion, comes belonging, comes