I am not sure how I feel about my children spending the night at friends. A billion years ago when I was growing up, the only people my brother and I were allowed to spend the night with were my maternal grandmother and maternal first cousins. You can probably guess my Mom was, and still is, fiercely protective. That said, I did have friends sleep over at my house. Not often, but there were a few occasions.
Well fast forward to 2015, and my five year-old daughter received her first sleepover invite. My husband, who is not opposed to sleepovers once kids are old enough to take care of themselves [that age has yet to be determined], feels Blinky is too young. I actually think Blinky is quite capable of spending the night away from us as she is extremely independent, even at 5. But I'm just not ready to let her go.
Coincidentally, I came across this article on Yahoo about the issue of sleepovers. The author, a young Mom like me, is adamant about not allowing her children to spend the night away from her as she was molested twice at sleepovers. I'm sure this is not the norm and Blinky would return to us unharmed, but stories like these make you want to place your children in a cocoon to keep them safe.
Stinky and Blinky have actually had two friends sleepover at our home this year. One of my girlfriends had surgery and asked if her little boy could spend the night with us so she could recuperate. And just last weekend, my childhood friend and her family were in town visiting for Stinky's birthday party and her stepdaughter spent the night to have more playtime. Both times the Mom in me slept with one eye open, not because there was anything to fear, but because I appreciated that these children were away from the person who loves them most in the world and it was my job to get them back safe and sound.
So how did this all end? We reached a compromise. I explained to my girlfriend that we would be happy for Blinky to visit for a few hours and help celebrate her friend's birthday, but that she isn't going to spend the night. My girlfriend understood and everyone is happy, especially Blinky. I also understand that the time will come when I will let Blinky go to a sleepover. And I will cover her in prayers and trust that the parents will act as I did when entrusted with a parent's most prized possession.