Growing up, my dad was very protective of me. There were a lot of things I couldn't do that all of my other friends could do. One of those things was go to slumber parties. I was always allowed to have slumber parties but it was rare for me to get to go to a slumber party unless it was to the house of friends (and their parents) that my parents knew well and trusted. I remember telling myself that when I was older and had children that I would let them spend the night at their friends' houses.
I was wrong. I TOTALLY understand why I was so carefully protected. I had the slumber party discussion with a friend of mine a few months ago and she too does not let her girls go to other homes for sleepovers. She told me many things during our discussion but the one thing that stuck with me is this question "Kelly, are you willing to sit down with these parents and have a serious talk about your child's safety? Are you willing to ask them if they have weapons or handguns in the home? If they say no, that they don't have weapons or handguns, will you believe it? " I didn't know what to say...
For now, I have made the decision to not allow Sabi to sleep over anyhwhere except with famiily. She isn't all that happy about it but I think she understands, to a degree, why I am making this decision.
THE CURRENT SITUATION
Last night I came home to find a message from the mom of one of Sabina's friends on our machine. The mom called to tell me who she was and beg me to let Sabina attend her daughter's slumber party. Among the many things that this mom mentioned on the message were:
1) Sabina is only one of 4 girls that is invited.
2) She would let me come over to meet her and we could have coffee.
3) It is very important to her daughter that Sabina come.
My thoughts last night on this were:
1) Am I supposed to feel the pressure to let Sabina go because she is in this elite group of 4 kids?
2) What kind of parent does this lady think I am if she thinks that a quick visit to her house for coffee, (a complete stranger to me!) would make me change my mind and let Sabina stay the night. How can she possibly think that I can feel comfortable enough with only meeting her for a short while to entrust her with my most precious of all things in the world?
3) Just because it is important to her daughter, I am supposed sacrifice what I think is best?
4) I had not even seen an invitation. How was I supposed to even think about what to do without haveing any details?
Sabina came to me very excited this afternoon when I picked her up. She pulled out her invitation from her friend that she just received today. As she was giving it to me she told me how embarrassing it was to receive it because it was given to her in front of another friend of hers who wasn't invited. (darn kid parties!) Before I looked at it I reminded her that she was not allowed to sleep over but that I might let her go to the party. We then looked at it and I told her to look at the date. She looked at it and realized pretty quickly that it was a bad date. It is on a Friday night during the time that we go to services at the synagogue. Even worse though was that it is on the first night of Hanukkah. She didn't even ask if she couild attend the party because she knew the answer.
Luckily, this situation kind of worked itself out on its own. I called her friend's mom and said that we would not be able to make it due to the fact that it is on the first night. No big problem there. Sabina was ok with my decision because she wants to celebrate Hanukkah with us. (thank goodness!)