This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Right Word

Slumber party? Sleepover? "Spend the night"?

This is a pretty common social event for my kids, especially CJ.

Yesterday, she had a sleepover with a friend from her current school. Over Spring Break, she enjoyed one with her BFFs from her elementary school (all three are in different middle schools now).

Last night all came together for me...a revelation? Declaration? Proclamation? Yes, I have my thesaurus out for a good word that hasn't hit me yet. Maybe as I write it'll come to me...

Tim texted CJ before he went to bed to say "night night". She wrote back that she was in North Hills, and that's when I felt a wave of happiness come over me.

She was hanging out with one of her best friends, "late" at night, at her favorite place in Raleigh...and doing a very 'big' girl thing.

Before this, the evening would have been dinner at Moe's - her very favorite place to eat (I strongly dislike), then a movie *at North Hills* (again, not my first place to watch a flick), watching The Last Song (a movie I proclaimed - the right word this time - that I was not going to watch).

I projected my own feelings to this night for her: how much *I* would have loved this at her age. Sure, I had my moments where I did have similar events but for the most part, my parents were very strict with me. I have recollections of having fear and intimidation just to ask if I could go to a sleepover, because the normal answer would be a long-winded, uncomfortable "no".

Restrictive? Protective? I thought for a long while it was protective parenting practices but over time, I surmise it was more "possessive". You don't hear that much in the way of parents as you do with a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, but I definitely feel/see the difference when it comes to my parents.

Don't get me wrong: I had a great childhood. I love my parents dearly. But I definitely didn't have the freedom, leniency?, laxness?, permissiveness? that I now allow for CJ.

And it's not that I am indulgent either. I *am* very protective and there are a select few of her friends that I would allow her to go for a sleep over (and most especially, vice versa). But my first answer, response?, reaction? is: 'how can we make it happen' vs. what my parents would do, which was more like 'hmmmmm...this is a serious request that must take time to think of a good answer to say no, with stern stares into your eyes to show how dismayed we are that you would ask this of us, because we don't want you to go'.

Right now, I also believe is a very good age for CJ, with very good, sane?, responsible?, smart? friends who share the same innocence. I may become more like my parents in just a few short years, months?, days?

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