Yesterday, Button went to a friend’s birthday party. Towards the end of the party, they asked the kids to get in line to hit a pinata. Button raced to be first in line, but they decided to let the birthday girl go first. Then they let another kid go because he was begging to, then another because she was small, then another, and another, and then 2 others, and then the pinata fell down and Button was the only child who didn’t get a turn.
It was unintentional, but I was upset and disappointed for her — she had listened really well, she didn’t whine, she encouraged the other kids during their turns . . . in short, she did everything she should have. She was a really good girl, and — in part because of that — she didn’t get a turn. At the end, she was asking a little bit forlorned, “Is it my turn?” “Do I get to hit the pinata?” But then everyone was distracted with picking up the treats inside.
She didn’t say anything to me about the pinata the rest of the night — nor I to her (I didn’t want to give her any ideas about being upset). Instead, she was really happy about all her treats. But this morning, long before she should have woken up, she came downstairs to talk to me. She told me she didn’t get to hit the pinata because she wasn’t a big girl – she’s just a small girl. I told her she was a big girl — bigger than all the other kids — which is why she handled it so well when she didn’t get a turn. Then I told her how proud I was of her because she was so patient and didn’t whine or complain. But she responded that she wasn’t a good girl because she didn’t get to hit the pinata. She was so sad, and my heart really hurt for her! I reaffirmed how good she was, and how big she is, and gave her a special treat to reward her. That seemed to make her feel better.
I’m at a loss, though. What more can I say to her? What more can I do, if anything? How do I combat these lies she’s believing? I know disappointment’s going to happen – but this was a hard lesson for her. It wasn’t fair and it was hurtful. Yet, at the same time, as I stood looking at her yesterday, I realized that as a Jesus-follower, she’s going to experience a lot that isn’t fair and is hurtful. And she’s going to see me and Niki experience that, too. In many ways, this was just the beginning.
Aha! Maybe I’ll talk to her about the reward that awaits her in heaven…