Throughout life there are a multitude of milestones and rites of passage we all experience. A baby’s first tooth, learning to walk and going to kindergarten. Then later, graduating high school, a first job, getting married, starting a family and so on for a lifetime.

My 8-year-old daughter recently went through a rite of passage. She had her first overnight at a friend’s house. It was a slumber party and a first for all the other girls, as well. Amaya was so excited but also nervous. I told her not to worry but to just enjoy the party and when it was time for bed I would come get her if that’s what she wanted.

My husband and I thought for sure we would get a call either at bedtime or in the middle of the night. I stayed up a little later but the call never came so I reluctantly went to bed. I didn’t sleep well because I kept thinking the phone would ring and I wouldn’t hear it. But… morning came and no phone call! We couldn’t believe it! Amaya stayed the entire night and so did the other girls. I was so proud of her I think my chest could have burst with pride.

I asked her later if she ever felt nervous or thought about coming home and she said no. She said it never crossed her mind because she was having so much fun. I was so happy for her to have been able to enjoy every moment from start to finish. They all brought their dolls to play and sleep with and they ended their night with a movie and popcorn. I would love to have been a fly on the wall to hear their conversation and giggles. But those are memories for her and her friends to share.

And so it begins for Amaya, many more years of sleepovers and slumber parties.

I have fantastic memories of slumber parties from when I was growing up. My first was around the same age as Amaya. Oh, what fun we would have. Watching movies, eating snacks, playing games and toys, and talking and giggling way past our bedtime.

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A big part of the fun was at the start of the party when we would all go to the video store to rent movies to watch together later. VHS, of course. Remember how great video stores were? Looking at all the shelves lined with options and hoping the ones you wanted weren’t already checked out.

When I was a little older, say middle school or so, one of the favorite things to do at my house during a slumber party was to create haunted houses for each other. My friends and I would divide into two groups. One group created the haunted house and then the other group went through it, then we switched and did it all over again. My mom had a fantastic collection of Halloween costumes and props. We’d hang sheets from our basement’s drop ceiling to make walkways and rooms and drape blankets across furniture to make tunnels. Then we’d make scary scenes throughout. It was a successful haunted house if at least one person got so startled that they accidentally wet their pants a little. Oh boy, did we all have fun!

Then we’d end the night by watching our rented scary movies. I mean, it was the late 80’s and 90’s so Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers were in their prime!

Now that I think about it, it sure would be fun to have an old school slumber party again. A night of binging on movies and food and a lot of laughter with my girlfriends would be amazing.

In the meantime, I’m definitely looking forward to the day when Amaya hosts her first slumber party at our house. She can plan what food and snacks to serve and what to play and do. It will be another rite of passage. For both of us, I suppose.

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