This weekend, my daughter had her first sleepover.
And it was almost an epic failure.
One of the tools in my “we’re moving to Arizona and it’s going to be so awesome” arsenal was the draw of M’s own room.
This was a pretty big selling point. M and W have shared a room since my youngest was born.
She’s never had the hot pink room she’s coveted. I was reminded of this every time we went to a home improvement store with paint swatches.
She would drag me over to the busiest part of the store and grab dozens of those rainbow hued ticker tape fantasies, and ask if we could please, please move to a bigger house. When I’d tell her we couldn’t afford it, she’d go home and draw pictures of what her dream room would look like. I’d find those swatches for weeks on end, in library books, pasted to pictures on the fridge, and beneath the seats of my car.
So we made the move, and although she has since grown out of her hot pink phase, she finally has her very own room. School starts, and M starts planning the slumber party to end all parties. We spent hours looking through sugary sweet, sprinkle laden treats on pinterest. We ordered the requisite mustache themed party favors. I suggested games, and she vetoed every single one. Because I’ve only been female for 36 years. How could I possibly know what girls like to do? Sigh. Yes, we have entered that phase.
And all the while, my control freak brain is kind of spazzing out. We’re new to the area. Things have changed. Who in the world is going to let their child sleep over at a strangers house?
I myself am cursed with a right before Christmas birthday (thanks, Mom). I remember one year in particular, where I invited what seemed like every friend I had to a slumber party. We ordered pizza (remember what a big deal that used to be?) and rented Nightmare on Elm Street (can you even imagine if we did that today?!?!). One child showed up to said party. And my cat was hit by a car. I wish I was being dramatic, but this is all true. Ask my mom. That crap stays with you, man.
So I broached the subject very carefully (as one would do with a wildly prepubescent girl child). I let her know that there was a slight chance that parents might not be okay with a spend over at our house. That maybe we could put off the party until a little later in the year, or do something that didn’t involve a sleepover.
She wasn’t having any of it.
So I wrote a little blurb on the invites, letting the parents know that I’d love to meet them prior to the party. Gave them all my contact info and hoped for the best.
And we received not one single RSVP. Many promises from little children, that of course, they’d definitely be there. But no phone calls, emails, texts, nothing.
But thank god for that one little dedicated friend. At school on Friday, when Miss M looked seriously crestfallen, walking through the school gates, her friend ran up to me, introduced herself, shook my hand and informed me that she was RSVP-ing. She looked to my girl and said, “I’m there for you, buddy.” It was pretty awesome and I suddenly remembered that although I may have only had one friend at that birthday many moons ago, it was my best friend that showed. And really, when you’re consuming mass quantities of butter and sprinkle laden treats, you kind of have to be super selective of who you’re doing the sharing with. Because those treats? They were amazing.