Saturday, June 2, 2012

At Your First Sleepover

Dear Annie,

Last night, for the first time ever, you slept somewhere other than at our house or the house of a family member. You slept at a sleepover - a bunch of giggly, silly 7- and 8-year-olds - two blocks away.

We packed your bag together yesterday afternoon. You wanted to bring your pillow pet instead of a real pillow, two Ivy and Bean books, a flashlight, a watch, a water bottle, a brush and toothbrush, and "cozy clothes" to change into this morning. You were equal parts nervous and excited. I told you that, if you wanted, you could call me any time and I'd walk over and pick you up. "That would be embarrassing," you said, and I was pretty sure you'd opt to stay the whole night. I slept with my phone next to the bed, just in case.

This morning, we woke up with a house full of family (Mimi and Grandpa are here to help build the fence, and Uncle Trevor slept over, too) but you weren't at the breakfast table, and you aren't watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with Jemma right now, either. I bet you're eating pancakes with your friends or maybe - miracles happen! - you slept in and you'll be groggy and sleepy-eyed when I go to get you in an hour.

I don't specifically remember my first sleepover, but I do remember sleepovers per se: lots of late-night basement dancing, popcorn everywhere, watching the movie Mannequin (and a fight with my mom over whether I'd be allowed to watch Dirty Dancing) (I wasn't), talking until our eyes were shut and whole minutes would pass between conversations, waking up with crazy hair and having other people's moms cook breakfast in their bathrobes.

I can't believe (and isn't this the theme of parenting?) that I have a little girl who is old enough to experience these things for herself, but there it is. You did. You are. And later today, when I will probably be putting up with an overtired daughter, I should do two things: call my mom and thank her for putting up with sleepovers for years, and be grateful for the budding friendships you are building now that will hopefully carry you through years of your life.


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