A momentous night! Shark, Tiger and Squirrel are all removed from the house, all night, all at the same time!
Not banged up in the local youth offending unit, no! This amazing vacuum of children is created by the wonder that is the sleepover culture!
No person - alive/dead, able bodied/disabled, in full command of their faculties/screw-unloosened - has ever, ever, ever, taken all three of my kids away from me for a sleepover at the same time.
The consideration of such an enterprise alone deserves a medal, let alone actually carrying it out. But, the supervising adult was brave/foolish enough to offer it (I advised against it) and they would not be swayed.
Obviously, I celebrated properly once my offspring waved farewell.
By wandering about the empty property wearing an absent-minded and lost expression for an hour, then forgetting to put on the laundry, becoming distracted from some page layout by the need to stare bleakly at the hole in the office roof, before finishing my night's party lifestyle by going to bed, feeling disoriented and empty, since the only cheeks I can kiss goodnight have all disappeared.
By morning, nothing had happened. I never got a pleading phone call at 2am.
It is a weird occasion, this first absence of the children from the house. But they are teenagers now. It is a sobering thought that one day, perhaps in a few short years, I will consider their fleeing the nest and my consequent solitude utterly, completely, normal. Hopefully, regretfully, joyously, sorrowfully, fearfully, normal.