Mom’s girls’ slumber party fears turn into…

by Jen Rouse
The Short Years
Oregon writer

We did it. Survived our first real slumber party. Not just having one friend sleep over. No, an actual slumber party–the kind with a whole bunch of little girls. With multiple girls, here at my house, all night long. With sleeping bags and and movies and pizza and popcorn and staying up way, way too late.

And you know what? It was a lovely experience.

Maybe you are sitting at home, reading this, and thinking. “Sure. Of course. Why are you surprised about this? What’s the big deal?”

Here’s what I was worried about:

  • Girls getting mad at each other.
  • Girls feeling left out.
  • Little sisters feeling left out.
  • Fights.
  • Crying.
  • Girls not having fun.
  • Girls thinking the party was lame.

I was a little girl once, okay? And, while they don’t generally try to catapult turtles through the backyard (as I watched one of my friend‘s little boys do last week), girls do come with their own sets of issues. My daughter decided to invite one friend who didn’t know anyone else at the party. She decided to invite two other friends who both hang out with her, but who don’t really hang out with each other. I was, frankly, worried that the guest list was a recipe for hurt feelings. And we all know what when a little girl decides her feelings are hurt–well, heaven help us, the whole world is going to come crashing down.

I shouldn’t have worried. Here’s what happened:

  • Everyone was well-behaved, polite, happy, and kind to one another.
  • They all had a splendid time.
  • The end.
Because Beth is her father’s daughter, she wanted to have “science experiments” at her birthday party. This involved a lot of exploding things in the back yard with vinegar and baking soda. Here you see them all reacting to the Eric Explosion Show.

It was nice, so very nice, to see a group of young ladies act like…well, like ladies. You see, I get people rolling their eyes at me in the grocery store all the time when they see my crew of female offspring. “Oh, all girls!” they say. They give me knowing smirks and encouraging comments like, “Must be a lotta drama in your household!” or “Boy, just wait ’til they’re all teenagers!”

And obviously, my party trepidation shows that I’ve been buying into those lines. Believing that anything that involves a group of females–simply because they are females–is going to be messy, dramatic, emotional and trying.

You know what, grocery store people? You can take your comments and stuff ’em. My daughters (so far…) are nice kids, and they’ve surrounded themselves with nice friends. Yes, they cry (and sometimes that gets to me). Absolutely, they are emotional little human beings. But all the stereotypes about mean girls and jealous rivalries and drama, drama, drama? I’m done with them. They are not true.

And I’m no longer questioning my daughter’s party-planning ability. They ate lots of pizza and cake, they helped Eric blow things up in the back yard, they stayed up late watching movies, and then they finally went to bed. Girls who hadn’t been friends before the party ended it with affection all around. It was a really fun party.

Sweet girls, all cuddled up together for movie time.

In fact, I might hire Beth to plan my next party: delicious food, exciting entertainment, a mix of old and new friends, and plenty of time to mingle. It sounds wonderful to me. And I bet we’d manage to have a good time and wouldn’t fight with each other…even if the guest list is all girls.

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