Only half an hour to go until she is collected for her promised return sleepover. Her excitement fizzes from her ears. The minutes tick by slowly. I contemplate the prospect of dinner in a restaurant or a diner, as it will be cheaper with one less and easier to manage if their father comes home in time. It would make a nice treat for us too, possibly. She is packed and ready with enough stuffed animals to restock a zoo.
I step away from her and the window to answer the phone.
“Oh hello Natalie there's been a change. Somethings come up.” I decide not to be annoyed that she can't remember my name.
“I have to take my other daughter to the hospital for tests, so I can't have her over here tonight. It's in Stanford.”
“Oh dear, they'll be so disappointed.” I peek back at my daughter with her nose to the pane of glass. How am I ever going to explain? What on earth can I do to make it up to her?
“Yes I know, so I thought if you could have the sleepover at your house then the girls can be together.”
“Well….yes …..I suppose……… that might be for the best.”
“Great, we're in the car, should be there in a few minutes.”
“Oh….well…..what time will you be able to pick her up tomorrow?”
“Yeah when we're back from the hospital.”
“Right, I see……”
“Maybe her dad could pick her up…..earlier?”
“No, he's working.”
“So we'll do the sleepover back here at our house another week.”
“Right. See you soon. Bye.”
I replace the receiver.
I decide that I am yet <a href=”http://alien-in-a-foreign-field.blogspot.com/2008/01/will-ofsoapsuds.html”>”again,”</a> completely out of my depth. I take a large onion, carrot and some celery from the fridge. I know now, that there are far too many things that I don't know and probably don't wish to know. I start chopping, supper for six. Would I forget an over night appointment for one of my children in a hospital? I conclude that although this might be unlikely, there have been many chaotic times in my own life. It is indeed entirely possible. An executive decision filters through my walnut sized brain. I am more than happy for the girls' friendship to blossom. Hence forward it will blossom within the confines of my own home, my own personal comfort zone. I may not have much control, but oddly enough, I enjoy far more knowns than unknowns.