The Key to Her Little Heart
LeLe celebrated her 10th birthday in November. She had been home with us for six months and had been talking about her birthday celebration for about five and a half months! She picked the place (a park on the beach with playground). She picked the cake design (dolphin). She picked the decorations (Lisa Frank), including stuff to make goodie bags. She picked the invitations (pink). She wrote them out herself with the guest list she created. (Family and family friends. She didn't want to invite anyone from school.) She was so excited for her party. She hugged her Dad and I like crazy the morning of the party. She wore her favorite dress. She had a great time playing with the kids that were invited, opening gifts and eating cake. It was a great turn out and she was surrounded by love (and gifts!).
Yet, immediately after the party she had a melt down. And I do mean immediately. As we were walking to the car. She had a terrible day because I didn't love her enough to plan organized games. A playground, sand volleyball pit where the kids had a blast making sand angels, bubbles, balls and yard games were not enough because there was no pin the tail on the donkey. I should have just had a deep breath and not let it get to me personally. The shame that is so deep within her as a result of her trauma makes it hard for her to believe she deserves good things. She tries to sabotage good because the feelings of happiness, love, pride, worth, etc. are just too foreign and overwhelming to her. At that moment though, I was hurt. I had a really bad cold. I felt like crap. I had worked hard to give her a good birthday and knew from the joy on her face all day that I had succeeded. I started to cry. She started to wail that I cared more about my own feelings than hers. Poor Hubby pulled into a pizza place and sent me in to order a pizza to talk home and he and Leslie sat on the roof of his car. When I came out, she gave me a hug and said she was sorry.
The next morning she gave me a beautiful note and a jewelry box with a key charm in it. I put it on a chain and haven't taken it off since.
The note said, "I remember from the 1st time you took me to the beach. I remember all of the happy times I have been with you. The key to my little heart. I love you."