The dreaded sleepover.
Leah ran in the door one afternoon this week and announced she had been invited to a birthday party. "And it's a sleepover!" she exclaimed. My heart sank, as I knew I'd finally have the conversation I'd been dreading. I shared her enthusiasm for a moment as she gushed about how excited she was and the plans they had already made.
"Can I go mom?"
"Of course, Leah, sounds like fun. But....you won't be able to spend the night."
It's like I could see the wheels turning in her head. In an instant, the look on her face said it all as the realization came into her mind. She put it all together without me saying anything else and just smiled cautiously and said "I know."
There were a few tears (which she insisted were about something else) and lots of hugs and reassuring that she could stay as late as she wanted and not miss out on any of the fun stuff. She nodded and agreed and assured me that she was not upset in the least. She's getting good at that.
I know it could be worse. I know she'll have a good time at the party, even though she'll have to leave early.
But she won't get to stay up late giggling with her friends. She won't get to wake up in the morning and have breakfast with the other girls. She'll have to leave because of a reason that feels unfair and cruel.
Someday she'll be older and things will be different. But to an almost 8 year old just wanting to have fun that day seems very far away. And to a parent trying to make it all feel better, it just hurts.