Last Friday night I took my five-year-old daughter to her first slumber party! Well, it was almost a slumber party. One of her classmates, an adorable, quiet as a mouse little girl, sent out precious invitations instructing all who were invited to wear their pj's, bring a pillow, and show up at 5:30pm. My SG was so excited to finally experience a sleepover! I was excited because just below the drop-off time was the pick-up time of 7:30pm. Now I know that most people are thrilled to take their children to somebody else’s house while they get to enjoy a nice quiet evening at home with no morning wake-up call of "I'm hungry! I want pancakes!" I want to be that person! I'm just not there yet. I am not ready to let go and find out that my baby doesn't need me anymore... to know that she is perfectly fine sleeping in a strange house, with strange people, and no longer needs the comfort and security that I have spent the last 5 1/2 years providing. As she raced around the house showing off her golden ticket I took a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief.
Over the next two weeks we had a daily count down to the day of the party. On the day of the party we had an hourly count down to the time that we left. It took SG two days to decide which pj's she wanted to wear (she finally decided on her Christmas tree gown- oh brother!), how she wanted her hair fixed (pink bow or red. Pink won), and which pillow case to take her pillow in (Disney Princess Belle/Cinderella). We were finally ready! We headed out the door to pick up another little friend in her class and then on to the party.
When we arrived I stood on the stoop with two giggling little girls who could barely contain their excitement. As the hostess answered the door they both squealed and ran into the house to find the birthday girl! I stepped in for just a minute and I felt like I was in a sorority house during rush week. There were pink and green streamers, pink and green balloons, pink and green paint spelling out HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the mirrors in the dining room and den, and there were sheets covering the windows and walls decorated in pink and green declaring P-A-R-T-Y! All the furniture had been moved to the walls in the den to make room for 12 out of control little girls and all of a sudden I felt it too!
Just walking into this transformed home ignited my inner little girl. My eyes were flooded with memories of spend-the-night parties from days long ago. I remember staying up late into the night talking and giggling about who I was going to marry, how many children we would have, and where we would live! I remember the middle of the night junk food binges of popcorn, cold pizza, nachos, and soda! I remember playing Twister, Clue, Sorry, and Life. We would listen to our favorite music on tapes and cd's singing and dancing as we held hair brushes for microphones and used the mirrors as our audience. We painted each other’s nails and practiced our make-up application techniques. We flipped through Teen magazine drooling over the likes of Tom Cruise, Kirk Cameron, and Patrick Swayze! We told our secrets, our dreams, and our hopes for the future. All was well and we were happy!
As the cloud cleared and I focused on the present, I longed for my daughter to know the joy of a slumber party! I no longer saw it as her not needing my security and comfort, not being my baby girl, but as her being ready to step out and be a little girl because I have provided those things! I long for her to develop friendships that will last a lifetime and provide her with precious memories of slumber parties from long ago! My hopes and dreams from slumber parties passed are being fulfilled in the life of my beautiful daughter! I AM ready for that!