Earlier this week my 2nd grader asked if she could have a friend spend the night. I was so excited for her as this would be her first sleepover! I talked with the parents of the other little girl and made the arrangements to pick them up from school on Friday. Then my baby girl, who is five, came into my room with her beautiful eyes all sad and puffy and asked if she could have a sleepover too. Now I would have no problem with her having a sleepover too but at 5 I really didn't think there were many kids who would successfully sleep out. I told my baby that she could have a friend come home with us and be picked up at 9. So essentially she would have a half sleepover. She thought this was great.
Fast forward to Friday. I somehow had 10 kids and 8 parents at my home for dinner and to get to know each other. All of the kids minus one was to leave with their parents. At some point my baby had her little friend ask if Ava(my baby) could spend the night. I laughed and said, "Oh sure, she can go home with you". A moment that now I will never forget. My baby, who I know can't live a moment without her mommy, looked at me and said, "YES!". She ran to get pajamas and started asking the mom of her friend if they could leave. I'm steadily laughing and assuring the mom that they won't make it out of the driveway.
30 minutes later, my older child Marcelle, is crying because Ava is leaving, how could she leave us, I can't be without her, mommy don't let her go, basically acting the way I thought my baby would be.
Marcelle proceeds to the mother of the child Ava is leaving with and with big crocodile tears tells her, "Please don't take my Ava, what if your house isn't safe?". At this point the family is leaving and Ava starts to cry. I knew it! I was right and she wouldn't make it out of the driveway. But through her tears Ava tells me, "I'm going to miss you but I really want to go." I comforted her and told her that I could not go and she would have to sleep there all night without mommy. Ava cried harder and I thought she wasn't even getting in their car. And then Ava hugged me and said, "I'll miss you." and then she got in the car! And then they pulled out of the driveway! And then they left my street! And they didn't turn around!!
I felt my heart sink. I felt like I was going to faint. Was she really sleeping out?? She's just a baby!! What the hell was I thinking????
My husband began to laugh looking at me. He said not to worry. He was sure as soon as they get in bed we would get a call. All through my sleepless night I waited for that call. I prayed for that call. But the call never came. I cried several times through the night. And this morning she is still there!!
I just can't believe it. How did this happen? She is my baby. She is A baby. How can she be doing big girl things?
All I could think during the night was how fast this day came. I thought about all the times I have had to travel out of town for work and she has had to say goodbye to ME. I love my children. But like most people I let life get in the way of enjoying them as much as I would like to. And father time, well he doesn't stop to wait for anyone. But I'm grateful he paused time last night and gave me the chance to see that this ride is going fast and that nothing is as important as these babies. He also gave me a glimpse into what my sister is feeling now that her oldest has just left for college.
As for me,I will never underestimate little Ava again. I should have known better as she has been shocking and surprising us since conception. "Hey Ava, mommy's coming to get you!!"
Even if I have to wake that family up since it's only 6am!