Sunday, 8 March 2009

Slipping Through My Fingers

The Smallest Daughter has had a landmark weekend. She is a shy, very affectionate little girl and hasn't really liked the idea of going to stay at friends' houses for sleepovers. In fact she only had her first sleepover at our house last month, when she invited a school friend to stay. Just before her friend arrived for the sleepover SD asked me "What am I supposed to do at a sleepover?" Bless.

Anyway, by co-incidence she was invited to sleepovers by two different friends this weekend - one on Friday night and then the other on Saturday - and she surprised me by saying she would like to go to them both.

When I dropped her off on Friday I made sure to tell the friend's Mum that this was SD's first ever sleepover, and if there were any problems she was to call me straightaway. The sleepover went well and she was tired but happy when I went to pick her up the next morning.

Last night she went on the second sleepover - again I spoke to the Mum and explained the situation. "Yes, SD might want to come home as she's not used to being away from home, etc." SD overheard this and turned to me, put her hand on my arm and said "Mum, you're going to have to let me go sooner or later." Aarrrgggghhhhhhhh! She's only 9 years old - I don't want to even think about that yet! She's my baby.....how can this be happening?

In fact she dealt with the two nights away from home without any problems. It was me who had the difficulties. In that moment when she said I would have to let her go it was as if I had a flash forward moment of the future when both of my beautiful, smart girls will have their own lives and I won't be needed as much. And it's difficult to deal with because of course, this is what I'm preparing them for. The future. Why is this so hard?

16 comments:

More than Just a Mother said...

I know, I'm dreading it already. My only hope is that the teenage years will be so terrible I'll be dying for them to leave home!

rosiescribble said...

She sounds wise beyond her years. I can imagine my daughter telling me I need to let her go sooner or later, but hopefully not for a few years. I'm dreading it though. You daughter sounds like a little star!

La Belette Rouge said...

I remember having my parents pick me up in the middle at a few sleep overs. Your daughter clearly has developed a strong sense of security that you have obviously given her. You should be proud.

sallymandy said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog but felt we had some things in common when I read your profile.

When I heard that Abba song during the movie Mama Mia, I burst out in tears and sat there crying for a long time. I was with friends...that was good! My only is 12 this weekend.

My older friends with kids out of the house say your daughters never really leave...and that they need us more than ever during the teen years, though they don't say so. I'm hanging on to those bits of wisdom.

Jane said...

That song always makes me stop and think - so powerful.

lunarossa said...

My daughter (9 too!) has started with sleepovers only recently. It was much harder for me than for her! I prefer when her friends come to us to stay rather tahn let her go. I'm not sure I can ever let her go. I know I will have to but I will never be ready!!! Hope you SD had a great time. Love the song. Ciao. A.

Lisa said...

I had the '10 year old' rule with my kids relating to sleepovers and by the time they got to 10, the fun had worn off.

They grow so fast - treasure every microsecond- the nest is empty soon enough xx

notSupermum said...

MTJAM - what is the saying? Your kids are so cute when they're babies that you could eat them. When they're teenagers you'll wish you had.

Tessa, they do grow up so fast. Too fast.

Rosie, she is a little star. Thanks. But she's still only a baby in my eyes!

notSupermum said...

La belette, thank you for that comment. I hadn't thought of it like that, but I hope you're right. It made me feel a bit better about it anyway.

Sallymandy, thanks for visiting. I feel your pain - my eldest is 12 and already so independent in many ways. But we do have the teenage years ahead of us.....

Jane - it's a very emotional song isn't it? I always feel the tears welling up when I hear it.

notSupermum said...

Antonella, I think it's much harder with the youngest child isn't it? I'm hanging onto my baby for as long as possible - they're not children for very long.

Lisa, I agree - it's so important to treasure every moment of their childhoods. Time slips away to quickly.

see you there! said...

The 12 YO GD spent the night with us Friday. Does it count as a sleep over when you are at your Grandparents? She's wiley, she calls her Grandpa and asks to spend the night - I'm usually a soft touch but him?... its guaranteed he'l say "Of Course" to everything she ever wants.

Darla

Yummy Mummy said...

Oh I can't even imagine how that feels. I get sad when the little man doesn't want me to follow him around the park at 18 months old!

It sounds like you have created a very strong daughter who people want to be around, so that should make you very happy, even if it makes you a bit sad at the same time.

xoxo
ym

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Aww god bless her!
I'm struggling with my 6 year old son saying he doesn't want me to kiss him at the school gate any more. Sob.

Kayleigh said...

Oh this tugged at my heartstrings...I so know what you mean. My oldest is 7 and I can't even imagine letting her go for a sleep over, thankfully she's not asked.

We homeschool and are considering sending her to public school either this fall or next -- even that's hard for me to imagine. It's such a delicate tightrope we walk...we want them to be independent and self confident and yet we fear for them and wish we could hold on forever (or is that just me, lol?).

You are a brave, good mommie :) I'm glad she had fun and it was a smashing success -- just shows you are doing your job beautifully!

Imogen Lamport said...

I always try to remember that I'm bringing up adults not children.

I want my kids to be independent capable adults when they grow up, so I have to give them some independence and responsibility as children.

It's very scary, as the last thing I want is for my children to ever get hurt, but if they never get hurt how will they learn resilience?

The conundrum of parenting?

Stigmum said...

It's hard because us mums are umbilically attached to our children and I know this because I cut the cord.
Yikes, March you wrote this! Glad I've found you notSupermum, you write so well!