I knew one pre-teen girl could be pretty loud (and sometimes screechy), but I never imagined four pre-teen girls together, in the same room, would be capable of reaching ear-damaging decibels.
I'm pretty sure my hearing was damaged when Boogie had a few friends over for a slumber party last weekend. If not damaged, I have at least now been trained Pavlovian-style to seek shelter -- and the same ear protection I use when shooting a gun -- at the first utterance of a girly shriek. I was completely prepared for a gaggle of giggling girls holing up in her bedroom for nail painting, gossiping and makeovers, but didn't imagine the squealing would be so pervasive. I imagined the get-together was likely to begin with squeals of excitement as friends arrived. I was prepared for that.
I was not prepared for the level of excitement to last all night long.
Boogie can be quite enthusiastic about everything life offers, and the level of her enthusiasm is directly related to the level of her voice. The more excited and enthusiastic she becomes, the louder she gets and, eventually, the squealing begins. It's one of her more endearing attributes -- something that, while occasionally irritating, makes her who she is. Something I wouldn't change even if I could.
However, I should have known that she would choose friends who echoed her level of enthusiasm for life. Very vocal enthusiasm times four equals an almost over-irritated mommy. It's a very good thing that after a few years, most parents have learned to tune out the most irritating of noises in lieu of selling their children to the earliest band of gypsies to pass through. Yes, I admit, I have threatened to sell her to the gypsies on days when she crosses over into the highly irritating zone, but, she never believes me. She just looks at me with those mischievous green eyes and tells me, straight up, "You'd never sell me, mom. You'd miss me too much."
She is too wise.
Despite the hours of unabashed enthusiasm, the girls had fun and were incredibly well-behaved. They "tortured" Boogie into a makeover, which she eventually gave in to (with a little encouragement from me to just have fun), but not before telling them, repeatedly, that she didn't need makeup to be beautiful, that she was perfectly happy with herself just the way she was. They had a little bit of really light-colored eye-shadow and some nearly-nude lip gloss, so the makeover was extremely minimal. Anything more than that and I think I would have had a true rebellion from Boogie on my hands.
I'm doing something right, thank goodness.
What did I learn from the slumber party? I learned that Boogie knows how to choose her friends well -- they all seem as strong and outspoken as she is. I learned that she is maturing at the right pace. A couple of her friends seemed a little more "worldly" than she is, especially when it comes to boys. But I think, at 12, she is right on track for believing boys still have cooties. In my mom mind, she can keep on believing boys have cooties until she is 21.
I also learned that she tells her friends about me, and the things she tells them are positive. That means I must still be a good, positive influence on her. She even tells them that I write about her and seemed pretty proud of that fact.
This is a good thing.