Julie’s comment on my post about the broken bed made me think about how I feel about sleep overs.
Honestly, I’m not a fan. I don’t especially like it when Alyssa stays with a friend but I also don’t enjoy myself when she has friends over.
I won’t stop her from going to friends’ houses and we’ll continue to let her invite friends to our home.
But I don’t have to like any of it.
When she stays with others, there’s the transportation to and from the friend’s house, making sure I know when to pick her, making sure SHE knows when I’m picking her up so I don’t have to sit in someone’s driveway for an insane amount of time.
I don’t really like having her away from me over night even though I know it’s good for her and this is a necessary step toward independence on her part. I know that, which is why I let her go but I don’t like it. She’s thirteen and it’s hard for me to know that other adults, who are not me, are in charge of her care for even a night.
Then there’s the event of us having friends over. Ugh. Honestly, I think it’s even worse. The work involved feels way more intense than necessary. The stress of being responsible for other people’s kids is one of the reasons I didn’t finish my teaching degree.
And damn but even one more thirteen year old in the house can be so loud.
There’s also the food, the drinks, the running up and down the stairs. It seems like it always rains when Alyssa has friends over and someone always wants to play in the rain, which means towels and a load of laundry to be dried.
Then there’s Olivia, who always wants to be included in the activities Lyss is doing with her friends. I try hard to keep O occupied but there comes a time when Lyss and her friends have to suck it up and include the little sister for a little while, just because it means so much to her and I need her to stop asking me if she can go with them for just five minutes.
Luckily, most of Lyss’s friends are the babies of their families and so they kind of ‘get’ Olivia and her desire to hang with the older kids. They (the friends) can often be heard telling Alyssa to be nice to her little sister.
So there is that one bright moment in the dark fog that is having friends stay the night.
Thankfully, Alyssa’s a bit of an introvert (I wonder where she gets that) and so she doesn’t really ask to have friends over all that often (once a month, maybe?) She loves spending time with her friends but also needs to decompress when she comes home/they go home. And that decompression time often lasts for weeks, so while I will very often go to bat for her with Tom when it comes to having friends over (he loathes having sleepovers even more than I do) I don’t really have to all that often.
For that, I am grateful.