Last night was my fourth(?) Sparks Mother-Daughter Sleepover, this time with Art Girl. What a blast! It’s so much fun to have some one-on-one time with your 6 year old, especially in a big family. Last night sitting in the “Camp Fire Circle,” (since it was inside the fire was 2L pop bottles filled with water and glow sticks,) my girl leaned into me in the darkness and whispered, “I wish this night would never end.” Me too, sweetheart. Later, trying to fall asleep, I was struck by how much I missed all my family at home. Should everyone have my problems! Too much love.
Sleeping was another story. About 30+ people all laid out on air mattresses and Thermarests in this huge room at the local Community League Hall. It sort of had a barracks or emergency shelter vibe, all we needed were cots. I kept waking just to assuage my fear that the new air mattress I bought two days before had shipped to the store with an air leak. Or that Art Girl had fallen off the air mattress. Or that the baby was crying — oh, yeah, the baby’s at home….With my wonderful husband, who gets Dad of the Year for staying home with a partially-breastfed 7 month old. I love you, Sugar! You are totally awesome!
As I said above, I think that this is my 4th Mother-Daughter Sleepover with different daughters, and depending on Girl Guide uptake, I may still have 2-4 more coming. One thing that struck me as I lay staring at the ceiling last night, was how different the room sounded. After the girls fell asleep five years ago, the only sounds you heard were the quiet chuckles of the Moms still chatting to each other. This time, it was full of chirps and beeps, and various points of the room glowed with the backlight of touch screens. The texting technology has permeated the world so far and so quickly. It was also a little sad, that instead of chatting with the ladies next to us, we were messaging with someone miles away. It’s similar at other places Moms gather. Where once you would strike up a conversation with a gal with small children like yourself, now everyone is hunched over their screens, typing furiously with their thumbs. It’s impossible to make eye-contact, or any other contact for that matter.
The other thing I wonder about, is the bizarre proliferation of “activities” we drag our kids to. Over the course of these Mom/Daughter events I have learnt of 5 and 6 year olds enrolled in acting, yoga, and pottery, just for starters. Isn’t that just the average afternoon at home for that age? Is the tuition and commute really adding anything? And how do you teach acting to a Kindergartener? Do they do Baby Hamlet? (“To tantrum or not to tantrum…”) I once saw an episode of Oprah on family over-scheduling, where an expert “helped” a busy Mom balance her daughter’s pitching coach and voice lessons. This brought to mind an image of a soft ball game with the pitcher winding up on the mound, simultaneously belting out, Ethel Merman-style, “Take me out to the ballgame…”
But maybe that just the natter of the sleep-deprived. I’m just glad to have my girls and my boys and my home, and be with all of them now. There is nothing like coming back to that which you miss to make it all the sweeter. Like my bed will feel right away. Sleep tight, everyone!