Joey is our precious little man. He is a joy to be around, he makes everyone around him smile and it's hard to stay in a bad mood when he goes through the house singing as loud as he can. He has had kids in his Royal Ranger class say that Joey is a cool kid and last week had everyone singing a rousing chorus of "Kumbaya".
And yet, Joey isn't totally accepted. He's still left out of a lot of things. I know it shouldn't be a suprise anymore, but it still hurts when he doesn't get invited to birthday parties or playdates or anything. This past Sunday, once again, one of the boys in his class at church had a birthday party and, once again, Joey wasn't invited. It stung just a little, but I'm trying to learn to expect it. What I didn't expect was to see in pictures that were posted on Facebook that nearly all the other boys in the class had been invited...except for Joey. That slammed into my heart like a spike.
I don't know what quite hurt more, that Joey hadn't been invited or that the parents didn't think I would notice the fact that the other boys were there. Despite the appearance at church that Joey is accepted and welcome, outside of church it's another story. Yes, Joey doesn't do very well in large and noisy crowds. But he is getting better and I'd like to see him be given the opportunity to try to attend things instead of automatically getting shut out.
It honestly would hurt less if people would approach us about it and say "we know Joey isn't comfortable in noisy crowds and we're afraid he wouldn't enjoy himself" and give us the opportunity to say "thank you for considering that". And it's true what Josh says, I don't want Joey to be invited because people think they have to. Pity invites are worse than just being cut out to begin with. I don't want Joey invited unless people really want him to be there.
Yet it still hurts. It hurts to the very core of me. While I do believe Joey feels it as he does ask sometimes why he doesn't have a friend, I think Joey has a skill to just go with the flow and move on. He has much more wisdom than his mommy does. Who wants to be somewhere if they aren't wanted? What fun is there in that?
But my heart still is broken that we have yet to find anyone who truly enjoys Joey and wants to be friends with him. My prayer is that one day he will find a friend. Someday.