This week Hope was invited to a sleepover with a friend. She was invited to stay over a friend’s house last month, but I said no since I didn’t know the girl’s parents. This week, I did my due diligence, called the mom, had a nice chat and allowed Hope to go.
She was so excited.
So. Was. I.
Seriously, do you know what this means???????
Ok, here’s all the ish I’m supposed to say: OMG, my daughter is improving her social skills. She’s developing solid friendships. She’s being invited to parties and sleep overs. She’s finally, finally starting to blend in and find her groove socially, something that has really been so hard for her. Her social struggles, among other things, have been the source of much anxiety and depression, so I’m ecstatic about this development. Yay.
On the real, though, OMG!!!!! Hope’s social evolution also means some freedom for me. I might have some Fridays and Saturdays with Elihu and friends just cold chillin’ this summer.
Check it, last night after she happily kissed me good bye, tossing her backpack over her shoulder, striding out of the house confidently, I cabbage-patched my way to the coffee table to grab the remote. I cupid-shuffled on into the kitchen to pour myself a tumbler of red wine to go with some tortellini. I snaked my way to my beloved couch, clicked on Netflix and began what I expected to be a quiet evening with Yappy binge watching Orange Is the New Black.
I got through two episodes.
Just as I was padding into the kitchen to pour myself another tumbler of wine and smash another brownie, I got the wild hair to text Hope goodnight and that I loved her.
She called me back.
ABM’s internal millisecond monologue: “Awww, baby girl loves me! She’s actually calling me back. I bet she’s going to tell me what time to pick her up in the morning. Occasionally, she can be so darn sweet. I love this kid.”
What actually happened: “Um, hi mom. Um. I think I’m going to come home. I am not going to stay at XX’s house.”
Wait, what? I’ve only watched two episodes of OITNB! I’ve only had one tumbler of wine and one brownie. I haven’t even put on my good lounge wear yet. Something must be horribly wrong.
No, nothing’s really wrong, the movie creeped her out she just wanted to come home.
Huh? The movie? The rated R horror movie that you insisted wasn’t a big deal and that I was being a stick in the mud about because I didn’t normally let you go, but this time I relented because you were going to a sleep over and well, horror movies are a part of sleepover culture?
Yeah, that one.
Just when I think we’ve gotten all the missed developmental hoops out of the way, the one where you get scared on your first sleep away and need to go home hits us square between the eyes.
Sigh. There are just so many little landmines on this journey to emotional health and well-being that you really, just can’t catch them all. You just can’t!
There was a silver lining though.
Kids who get scared on their first sleep away want to go home because home is safe. Hope called her mommy (that would be me) and she wanted to come HOME to her MOMMY where its SAFE!!!!!
I smiled and started cabbage patching again.
It’s true sometimes when they say a setback is a setup for something better.
I was nervous about her being away. I enjoyed my evening so much, but I kinda missed just having her in the house. If she had been here she probably would’ve been in her room not talking to me, but she would’ve been here. It was strange to be in on a Friday night and not have her here. In truth there were a few mixed emotions there. I was thrilled for her and for this rite of passage, but it only reminded me that I may only have her this close for a few years before she flies off into adulthood. I want that for her, but gosh the time is flying by so dang fast. This week she will celebrate her third birthday with me. In a year she will be able to drive (I don’t know if she WILL drive, but she’ll be legally able to do so). In three years, she’ll finish high school and don a cap and gown and stride across a stage to pomp and circumstance while I cheer and use Elihu’s hankie to mop my tears of joy.
It’s just going so fast.
But Hope’s desire to come back to home base where it’s safe is so significant. Her willingness to share with me that she was scared and needed a hug is such a big deal. Her desire for me to toss some salt at her door and window (to ward off evil spirits and purify the space) and her desire for Yappy to cuddle for a while with her are all such big leaps for her, that I was happy to give up the remaining hours of my freedom.
I was happy to greet her at the door with a big smile and a warm, safe hug.