I know it seems as though I share everything here—but I really don’t.
When it comes to the child’s experiences it’s always been different.
She and I have many conversations where I say: Oh, Id love to write about this—would you mind?
Sometimes I get a yes.
Other times I get a no.
And still other times she says you can BUT and she provides me parameters and tells me what I need to change to make sharing OK.
Recently she’s slept in bed with me.
As you parent-types know this is an easy trap to fall into when you’re a single parent or have a partner who travels much of the time.
Right or wrong it’s just happened (you know me, I’m comfy with my decisions feel free to judge away).
I’ve chosen to tell myself the same thing I’ve told friends when they’d share fears about children still being in diapers or still toting around a “lovey”: eventually she will grow out of this.
Did I mention she doesn’t want to go to sleepovers?
Emphasis on the word go as she loves to host them–she’s just not a fan of the “sleeping other places.”
She’s aware she’s a poor sleeper.
She knows she’s always awake before everyone else.
And, even though she brings an iPad loaded with books and a favorite white noise app (along with melatonin and an eye mask), Id imagine the awareness lends an extra layer of:
“Eh. Why bother. I love playing at my friends’ houses, heading home and sleeping in my own bed!”
she knows what relaxes her and right now it’s home.
Quite frankly at nine I can’t really blame her.
Sleepovers really do seem an odd construct when you know you can sleep where you’re comfy and see your friends the next day if you want.
There’s no sense of urgency.
Or there wasn’t until we went to Chicago to visit a beloved cousin of hers.
She adores him.
He’s a fantastic brother-cousin to her in return.
She really, really wanted to sleepover at his house.
She asked. We talked it over. I watched as she weighed the pros and, in her mind, the many many cons.
She thought it sounded unbelievably fun. She considered how it would feel inside if she changed her mind mid-sleepover and asked to be brought to the hotel.
She decided she could do it.
And she did.
Typing it out makes it all sound easy–yet isn’t wasn’t easy to her.
cupcake batter consuming with cousin? easy.
To channel James Harrison:
We could have given her a trophy because we knew someday she’d do a sleepover—but that wouldn’t have given her any real confidence or self-esteem.
Nothing fosters confidence like making it through something you’d thought you couldn’t.
She met us in the lobby the next morning utterly exhausted and completely proud.
“I missed you but I did it!!” She told me.
The entire scenario reminded me of a scene from Evan Almighty which I refer back to often in my own life.
Watching her prove to herself how brave I already knew she was reminded me about moving though my days seeking opportunities to grow.
I’m confident my second life will be filled with them because I’m choosing, as she did, to see how the benefits outweigh the inevitable growing pains.
I’m choosing opportunity. I’m choosing to be part of the effort.
I know I can.