**Participating in Mamakat’s writing workshop today: Write a post inspired by the word “flooded”.**

In the days leading up to the party Olivia is attending, I am a worker bee trying to get these special presents finished. The birthday girl is a very special friend; she has been so kind to my girl all of these years and I wanted to do something special. I am making her signs for her newly decorated rooms, bracelets made from walk-a-thon shirts, one for each year of school and also some makeup and nail polish for fun. I am frantically trying to get all of these made, make Halloween costumes, work and keep up with the house. I’m worried she won’t like them, that it’s not special enough, that it’s a stupid idea. It’s no wonder my husband thinks I’m crazy.

In the days leading up to the party, I am worried. Did this girl really want to invite Olivia or did her mom make her? Do the other girls want Olivia there? Will they ignore her? Will they include her? Will she drive everyone crazy? Will she make a mess? Will she eat something she’s not supposed to? Will she be OK with out me? Should I make an excuse and not send her just in case all of these things are true? If I can just keep her in my bubble, won’t that be better for her…and for me?

Two days before the party, we attend the Halloween party at school. She is alone at the party. No one wants to walk around with her. She walks up to several kids in her class and tries to hug them or say hello and they pretty much ignore her. Now I am convinced that she shouldn’t go to this party. She happily enjoys the Halloween event, watching the magician and enjoying everyone’s costumes. Why do I worry so much when she doesn’t?

The day of the party, I’m nervous. I’m afraid to send her even though I love this girl and her family. I’m afraid of the other girls. Many of these girls are not her good friends. Please let them be kind, I pray. Please let them include her, I beg. Please let her behave, I implore. Please let her have fun, I plead. Please let these girls see that she is fun, she is loving, she is the best friend they will ever have.

Please, please, please let her be loved. Please, please, please let her be loved.

I flood God’s inbox with my silent prayers. I drop her off at the party and slowly walk home trying not to cry. I saw Olivia go up to two girls she didn’t know and introduce herself and try to engage them. “Let’s play Just Dance!” she says. No one responds. I’m hoping they will just take a while to warm up to her. I don’t want to leave.

I make myself walk home. I am on the verge of tears. I am scared to leave her and hope it goes well. I get home and am alone. The boys are on a camping weekend. I eat dinner and watch T.V. and give myself a mani and a pedi and look at the clock every 5 seconds. I have my phone right next to me, waiting for the text to come get Olivia.

Finally, just as I predicted, she asks for me around 8 p.m. It’s a sleepover party but that’s not an option. I drive over there this time, anxious to get there as fast as I can. I knock on the door and open it to find that she’s surrounded by girls. They are laughing, they are telling me how much fun they all had and how much fun Olivia had. My heart unclenches and my shoulders relax. I can tell by my girl’s face that she is happy, she had a great time, she was loved.

This is life with Olivia. Constantly being flooded with emotions…good, bad and everything in between.


8 responses to “Flooded

  1. I have tears and goosebumps, girl. I’m so glad that the party went so well for Olivia. You and she deserve nothing but the best. xo

  2. There is so much love in this post. A mother’s love (and angst), a child’s love, friends’ love.

    My wish is that our girls never know anything but love.

  3. Jennifer Archer

    Your writing floods my mind and heart with joy- truly. I feel so honored to have met you (though we still need to find some time- LOL). It’s a rare and wonderful treat to be honestly amazed by another mom. The love that you give, the strength that you have, the joy so evident in your heart, and the presence you are to your children leaves me in awe….

  4. very creative interpretation of the writing prompt!

    I’m so happy this story had a positive ending….”tween” girls can be insensitive and fickle, but they can also be wonderful and loving and fun and inclusive, as you and Olivia experienced at the party. I hope you both have MANY more experiences like this one!

    (and that was really sweet of you to make the birthday girl’s day extra special – I guarantee you she will remember that kindness forever, as will her mom)

  5. I am also flooded by emotions from this post. That must be so tough for you. BTW, I know one of the women who teaches the ballet class for Down Syndrome kids. I can find out more about it if you want. Let me know!

  6. Whenever you write about Olivia alone you are so honest, so heartfelt. You make my heart ache with yours and you make me smile along with you. I’m thankful that I know Olivia in person and that you are my friend. If not, I’d be moving heaven and earth to find my way to you. Love you both. So glad the party went so well!

  7. Tiffany,

    This touched me. I love the line of flooding God’s inbox with silent prayers. So glad that she had a good time. Love the use of the metaphor flooded.

  8. Wonderful post! I started out with tears of my own fears and ended with a smile. I’m so happy she had a wonderful time!

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