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Penguin had her first invited-on-her-own birthday party today. This might call for more reflection time than I have available, as my parents are here, which means Mr. Kluges and I can have a Date Night! Now, Penguin's been invited to birthday parties before, but they've been family friends and Pumpkin has been invited, too, and/or they've been ones for our whole family to attend.
This one was for a 4K classmate, one we don't really know. Sure, I've volunteered twice in Penguin's classroom and attended one of her field trips, but Z is not a child Penguin usually mentions. I was actually a bit hesitant to have her go, in large part because her grandparents are here, but Mr. Kluges convinced me that she was SO EXCITED and that it was only two hours and that it was her first as-her-own-individual birthday party invite that we should let her go.
She was, in fact, very excited. Well, excited and a bit nervous. She requested I stay. I said I'd stay as long as she wanted me to, but that I'd ask her occasionally and leave when she was ready for me to go. In fact, I kind of wanted to stay for at least a bit since we've never had a play date with them and make sure my instincts were happy with her being there.
Well, I did end up staying the whole time, even though she would have been fine on her own, and the family seemed very nice. I was the only parent to stay the whole time, although two other moms did stay the first hour. She would have been fine - she asked Z, the birthday girl, within the first 10 minutes where the bathroom was, in case she needed it, and used it within the first 30 on her own. She played completely independently the whole time with her classmates (well, 9 classmates & Z's cousin, who mostly played with Z's brothers anyway).
But it did make me realize she IS a big girl now. She's got friends/classmates I don't know, and their parents I've not really met. She has her own thing in 4K, which is great, but she is also still my little girl, who wants me to stick around for security...
...and I'm happy to do so, for as long as she needs me....
...which I do realize won't be long at all!