It wasn’t until I hung up the phone, that I realized this was the beginning of a new era for my little girls. I had spent the last five minutes chatting it up with another mom from the school. Sharlene was thrilled to announce the upcoming glow-in-the-dark, late night extravaganza that will be her daughter’s 7th birthday party. (The birthday girl is in the same class as one of mine, and goes to the after school program with both.) I listened as the mother of two raved about her plans to pull out all the stops and transform her home for the glowing affair. We then settled on the nitty gritty and said our goodbyes.
I, admittedly, tried to get slick about a third of the way into the conversation when I said, “Sounds great Sharlene, I’ll just need to see if I can make babysitting arrangements for my youngest, so the other can attend your party.” I knew the scheme had immediately failed when she responded, “Ok, great!”
There was nothing “great” about it. She was supposed to tell me to stop being silly and that both of my children were more than welcome. The rejection was confirmed when only one of my daughters received a paper invitation the next day.
My kids are a year apart and do just about everything as a pair. From reading books together in the morning, to hitting the sack a la bunk beds, the girls are inseparable. The bond between them is more powerful than even I will fully understand. My first-born has no memory of the 15 months of life without her sister.
Naturally, the one-year difference in age means they are also a grade apart. Each daughter has her own clique in class – some children they’ve each become quite close with. Not an evening goes by when I don’t hear about “Emma” or “Nevaeh” or sit through living room talent shows where one shows me dance routines she choreographed with “Sarah.” So, just so it’s clear — they do have friends. Still, it irks me only one will live to tell the tale of this so-called amazing party, where it seems like everybody who’s somebody will be.
I imagine things will continue this way, as my daughters get older. And, perhaps, it is I who needs to get over the separation anxiety. The pout on the face of my little one when I broke the news she didn’t get an invitation – well, it didn’t last as long as I had expected. Is my baby maturing right before my eyes? Was I overreacting?
Someone wise told me this scenario marks a giant step in further establishing the girls’ individual identities. It may be time for me to suck it up, and let them grow.