I have never allowed my boys to have a sleepover. I have allowed their friends to stay at my house overnight, but they’ve never been allowed to have a sleepover anywhere else. I have just never felt comfortable with the idea of someone else watching my kids. I know it’s a normal part of growing up, I did it plenty as a kid but that didn’t make it any easier to let go.
Friday afternoon my youngest gets a phone call from a kid down the street. They are good friends. I’ve met his mother a couple times at soccer games and the grocery store. Very nice, down to Earth person. The kid is also very smart and polite. I hate to even admit this, but I tend to develop preconceived notions of the parents based on their kid’s behavior, manners and even clothing. Well, maybe not so much as they get older, but with the young kids, 6th grade and below I’d say that the kids are a direct reflection of the parents. Which is why I am always telling my kids “we are in public” because they know that they are held to a higher standard in public. Yeah, I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help it.
OK, so B gets a call from this kid and after talking for 15 minutes he hands me the phone and says that the mom wants to talk to me. She informs me that the boys have decided they want to do a sleepover! I wanted so badly to say no, but B’s face was BEGGING me to say yes. In the end, I agreed to a sleepover but made sure that the mom knew that I would come get him at any point throughout the night. She is my neighbor, however she is 1/2 mile down the road (yeah, we live in the woods). So, I hang up, get B packed and ready, explain that it’s ok to want to come home, blah blah blah.
I drop him off, I’m terrified. He’s ecstatic! He says “I love you, Mom, byeeeee” and runs off to play. I’m standing there with the same feelings I had 9 years ago when I dropped my oldest son off at Kindergarten on the first day. It was a MAJOR parenting milestone for me, and it also happened to be my youngest son doing it first! Major.
The night was ok, only two kids in the house, it was strangely calm. But when morning came I began missing him so much. Normally he gets up as soon as he hears me banging around in the kitchen making coffee. His brothers are not morning people so I let them sleep until after my coffee. B then puts Spongebob on the TV while I drink my java and check my email. It’s a ritual that I don’t think I even realized we had. It’s just something we do. Never thought about it. It just is. So when he wasn’t here to get up with me I sat in my empty living room, listening to the quiet while my older sons slept. I wanted so badly to go pick him up.
Finally it was time. I drove down the street and began chit chatting with the mom. 3 hours later I realized I had just made a new friend. I real one. Not the kind that you wave to when you pass them on the road, but a real friend that you can call when you need an extra egg for the cake you’re making. I’ve been up here for 2 years and have yet to make a friend! It was wonderful. I had to go to my MIL’s for dinner with the kids, but after that we decided that I would head back on over to her house to watch a movie while the boys played.
It was awesome. Here’s the problem. She has a HUGE house. AND it’s immaculate. Not a drop of dust, dirt or grime anywhere. I don’t know how she does it. AND, of course, she had no idea that I was going to wind up hanging out there, so it wasn’t like she cleaned in preparation. Noooooo, she took me on a tour of her house, to show me all the cool architecture, and when we entered the master bedroom and I saw that her bed was made with decorative pillows and everything I felt about 2 inches tall. She makes her bed on a daily basis. Holy crap, she is amazing! I am lucky if I brush my hair on a daily basis.
I walked into my house last night and stared at the disorganized bookcases, the dusty window sills, the 4 loads of laundry that need to be put away and the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded and reloaded and I wanted to just scream. How does she DO it? I am so embarrassed for the day she comes to my house and sees how bad of a housekeeper I am. Even if I try to clean up beforehand it will never look like hers. Ugh. So, I’ve made a friend, and that is AWESOME, but it may be a while before I invite her over. I think we need to get a little closer first before I let it be known that I am a terrible maid.
And with that, I’m off to clean my kitchen.