Cady Gray has a friend sleep over before. Soli, her oldest friend who now lives in Iowa, came to visit and stayed in CG's room.
Today, her best friend Charlotte's mom e-mailed me to ask if Cady Gray could come to their house for a sleepover tomorrow night. I knew CG would be thrilled. She's not going to have a moment's hesitation packing up and leaving her familiar surroundings for a night. And she's so adaptable and positive about everything that I doubt she'll have any of the moments of doubt or anxiety that I well remember from my first sleepovers.
It's her mom that will be suffering. Probably not from fear -- just from poignancy. It will be the first time she's spent a night away from home without a relative or parent in the same house.
Well, there will be some fear on my part. It's my control-oriented personality. I usually find it difficult to let go in situations like this; my head engages in a constant fight with my gut. Tomorrow night I'll probably be resisting the urge to walk by her empty room, and will keep the phone close by.
But mostly I'll feel proud of her, and bittersweet for myself. A first step away from her home, another step toward adulthood. Soon they will be commonplace. For now, I just want to notice yet another milestone passing on the highway's verge. And smile through my tears.