Olivia is going on her first sleepover tomorrow night. She's going to stay with the girl that came over here a few weeks ago. At first, when it was planned, I thought it would be really cool. I would have a little bit more attention to share with the other two that night.
But now that it's almost here, I would love for it to fall through and keep her home. Or for her to get homesick and ask to come home. The one and only time she's spent the night away from us was when I was in the hospital after having Isabelle and she stayed with my sister. Bill didn't even stay with me when I had Zoe... he stayed with the older two. My parents can't handle keeping a kid overnight and Bill's family is too far away. So this is new territory and I don't like it much right at the moment.
I would never describe myself as an overprotective parent. I'm not all that paranoid. I probably let my kids do things that a lot of parents wouldn't agree with... like let them play outside without my constant supervision. But this... this is freaking me out.
I just imagine every possible terrible thing that could happen while she's gone, from her losing her manners to things I won't even make myself put into words.
And, at the risk of sounding really judgmental, the girl comes from a really messed up family situation. She lives part-time with her grandparents... and that's where Olivia is going, the grandparents' house. To be honest, I am not sure I'd want her to go to the girl's mother's house at all. Just the things I've been told and the bits and pieces I've heard from Olivia, I just think it's a shame that the poor girl has to deal with it all. Growing up, I had quite a few friends who came from broken homes and dealt with similar situations.... I always kind of felt that I was a bit of an anchor from them, being from a very stable, relatively drama-free home. And Bill and I strive to provide that type of home for our kids. I should be proud that I'm raising children who can be that type of friend, but in some ways it makes me a little sad that anyone would need an anchor.
I try to keep an open mind, but it is just very difficult for me to comprehend people handing their children over to their parents to raise. I can't imagine going to bed at night not having kissed my kids goodnight. I mean, I think about this cruise I'm going on in a few months and really think I will at some point have a breakdown from being away from my kids that long. Obviously... here I am worrying about ONE kid being gone ONE night. I don't know how I'll handle over a week without the three of them.
I am sure that all will go well.... she'll come back happy as a lark, in one piece, with a good report on how well-behaved she is. Until she is back, I'll worry though. It's my job....