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The Best Response To Criticism Is Joy

The past few weeks were rocky. An attorney decided that it was a good idea to call my Dark-Haired Daughter horrible names. As much as I tried to shield my daughter from what was swirling around her, she found out and was understandably devastated.

I assured my daughter, as she cried tears of both anger and pain, that none of this had anything at all to do with her, and everything to do with the attorney who chose to act in this manner. But my balm was weak against these mighty wounds. The familiar sounds of PTSD were howling at the door of my daughter's heart.

Yet, we had a party to put on. Dark-Haired Daughter has completed her formal education, and a celebration was in order. In the scheme of things, it wasn't that big of a deal. In fact, you couldn't miss the dozens of handmade signs and balloons marking dozens of houses in our small town this weekend. It's that time of year.

But, as we all know, it IS a big deal. And for Dark-Haired Daughter, it was an even bigger deal. She had seen her brothers and sister have such parties and she thought this would never happen for her. But it did. And we threw a party.

Cake, lemonade. Cards, gifts. Coleslaw, kids. People spread out over our yard, our house. Kids colored with sidewalk chalk and a soccer ball got kicked around. Our friends rejoiced with our daughter, who glowed all day.

Yesterday, for awhile, she felt no sting of the pain from two weeks ago. Yesterday was all about joy: the joy of an accomplishment, the joy of thanksgiving for loved ones, the joy of seeing a daughter grow. While no major world problems have been solved with cake and lemonade, I can tell you that one girl's pain was eased and that meant the world to us.

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