I still remember my first slumber party. It was at a classmate's house and that night was a taste of a world I'd never experienced.
Her mum bought us pizzas and let us eat candy and chocolate. We stayed up far past a reasonable bedtime and watched Gremlins, a movie so scary, I had nightmares for weeks. We giggled over nothing and whispered secrets and stories until we couldn't keep our eyes open. In the morning, instead of my usual breakfast of eggs or porridge, we ate sugary cereal. Two bowls.
I went home and knew that when I grew up, I'd eat pizza and chocolate ice cream every night and Captain Crunch every morning.
I didn't take into account adult taste buds.
Still, those fond memories were in the forefront of my mind when Elizabeth was invited to a slumber party this last weekend. At four, she's a little young, but a friend who is more family than friend, was celebrating her sixth birthday and insisted Elizabeth be invited. I sat down with my wee girl and asked if she wanted to go. I shouldn't have even wondered. The answer was an enthusiastic yes.
We bought her new pyjamas and packed them with a change of clothes in her backpack. I put ponytails in her hair and left her at our friends' home with a bounce in her step and a smile on her face. I texted my friend later that night to see how it was going.
I shouldn't have worried.
My girl was happily enjoying making pizzas and ice cream sundaes, which made me laugh because really, slumber parties haven't changed much in twenty five years. The next morning, she came home a little manic from the sugar and a lot manic from exhaustion. Her eyes were rimmed in purple and a whine was on her lips.
Nap time came early.
When she woke up, she told me all about the fun she'd had. She begged that she host a slumber party soon and I found myself agreeing. Someday, soon, I imagine, I'll host a group of giggling girls. I'll feed them pizza and ice cream and ridiculous breakfast foods. And I'll smile through my own exhaustion because really, slumber parties are a rite of passage every girl should take.