Yesterday was the last day of school for my kids. Yeah, I know, most of you are like “Wah? Huh? It isn’t even Memorial Day yet!” Well, here in central Virginny we let our kids out early and then force them back into the classroom smack-dab in the middle of the summer! Yee-haw!

Regardless of when you get out, you have to LOVE the last day of school. As a kid you are almost stupefied with anticipation – I mean, there are weeks and weeks and weeks where you have no fractions, no book reports, no bus to catch. Just the beach and the pool and hours of Cartoon Network.

I can remember the feeling I had as a kid sitting in my classroom at the Anna C. Scott school waiting for the 3 o’clock bell to ring on that last day of school. Once you walked out into that hot June afternoon, the world seemed almost pregnant with possibilities. You could turn your face up to the sun, take a deep breath and relax…summer vacation was here! The walk home from school was never as sweet as that one where you knew your back was turned on school doors that were locked for the next 3 months.

With my kids, there are always last-day-of-school festivities. Usually I have to drive my high schooler to a party at one of our community’s beaches, and I hang out with my youngest gal. This year the tables were turned – my oldest didn’t feel very beachy and opted to stay home, and my little one got invited to an after school party/sleepover. While she was very excited to receive this invitation, I was a bit nervous about the sleepover part.

The truth is, she’d never slept away from home. First of all, most of her friends are boys, which pretty much rules out the notion of sleepovers. She’d been invited to a classmate’s birthday sleepover a few years back, but she called me at 9 pm to come pick her up. It seems that the friend’s older sister was yelling at her, which made her cry and she just wanted to come home. I was secretly relieved.

So, with this most recent invitation looming in front of us, I was curious to see if she would be able to stick it out. She rode the school bus home with her friends, played and romped and then called me to say that she’d really like to stay over. At 8 pm I drove over to the girl’s house, delivered her pj’s and toothbrush, chatted with the mom, and drove back home. And as I laid my head on my pillow at 10 pm I thought to myself, “I guess she did it.”

When I woke up at 1 a.m. with the realization that I had one less child sleeping under my roof I thought to myself, “Wow, she really did it.” And then like any self-respecting mother I had trouble falling back to sleep.

I am really proud of her. My youngest has had some struggles with sleep in her 10 years which mostly center around sleeping alone, and here she jumped the big-girl hurdle. I hope she had fun. I hope they stayed up way too late giggling and eating junk food. And I hope when I pick her up in a few hours she’s as happy to see me as I will be to see her.