So! All three of Punkin’s sleep-over guests have RSVP’d in the affirmative. Well, that’s not technically true; one girl has said she’s planning to stay the night, the other two are all hedgie and are bringing their sleep-over things, but aren’t sure they’ll want to actually sleep over and may want to be taken home to sleep. Whatever; all I know is that there’ll be a party at the Chili household on Friday night. I’ve got popcorn, “Night at the Museum,” and mini mani/pedi kits all ready to go.
I have NO idea how this is all going to shake out, but I’m hoping for the best. To her credit, Punkin’ has been remarkably mature about the whole thing; we’ve sat her down to discuss the possibility that no one may want to stay over, we’ve talked about what it means to be part of a clique – and what it means to not be part of one – and we’ve talked about what kinds of things are important to her when she decides what kinds of friends she wants to have – and what kind of friend she wants to be. So far, the answers she’s given us really do reflect the kind of examples we’ve been trying to give her.
I’m reasonably certain that we’re giving her enough tools to help her navigate this – whatever this turns out to be – and that’s really all we CAN do. I’m reminded of a quote from Martha Beck’s novel, Expecting Adam, where she said that “the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn is that I will never know the meaning of my children’s pain, and that I have neither the capacity nor the right to take it away from them.” There’s an important something that Punkin’ needs to learn here, and I am mindful that my role is primary love-giver, not “bodyguard” or “bouncer.