This past weekend, Story had her first sleepover. I know, crazy, right? She even said, “I am seven years old! How can this be my first sleepover ever?!” To better understand, let me define sleepover: staying the night with a nonrelative and without Mom, with the full intention of doing nothing but having fun. Mind you, Story has plenty of experience sleeping at others’ houses, both with and without me. But this was different. She was going to stay the whole night with Ali, Riley, and Maddie — without me. (Yes, I’m still categorizing this as a sleepover even though Story refers to Riley and Maddie as her stepsisters.)
To say she was excited is an understatement. She volunteered to pack her own suitcase, which included four full outfits, just in case, and a bag full of toys. When I told her she needed to also pack a swimsuit, her eyes widened and she feigned fainting. As she jammed her goggles into the pack, she murmured to herself, “This is going to be the best time ever.” She insisted on bringing her sleeping bag, because “that’s what you do when you have a sleepover.” And of course, she had to bring her stuffed elephant, Ellie, because Ellie experiences all firsts with Story.
She was a bundle of energy in the car on the way to Ali’s house. After dropping her off, I said a little prayer for Ali. She’d have all three girls for the afternoon, night, and morning. Ali’s declarations of “We’re going to have so much fun!” made me sigh. Bless her heart. I left without a worry in the world. (Ali is the responsible one of our little NHN family.) Story didn’t hesitate to hug me bye as she pushed me out the door.
I knew they’d have fun. Even with all the arguments and meltdowns, the girls love each other’s company. I just didn’t realize how much fun they’d have. You guys, Ali is a sleepover pro! They stayed at her parents’ lakehouse, where they went swimming all afternoon (Ali had them showered and in clean clothes by 5:30, what?!). They played on a tire swing. They made s’mores. And they went down to the dock to make wishes on stars. In the morning, Ali let Story make scrambled eggs for breakfast (her favorite thing to do) and even brought her back to my house. Ali is a star. The girls and I are so very lucky to have her. Bonus: I got a new background for all my devices out of it!