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?