She went to sleep by herself last night!!!
Now, honestly, Cheshire has managed this at times, but neither David nor I could do the night time ritual, tuck her in, and kiss her and leave the room. Whether it has been in her own bed or mine (or ours when David was alive), Julia insisted that one of us lay down with her. There were times when it was hard for her to get to sleep, and it was a real pain to lose an evening of grownup time to laying in bed doing nothing. Both of us were pretty determined to give Julia what Cheshire had in that way. (We did the same with Cheshire until she was about 5, and who knows how it shaped her, but she turned out pretty well.) I can't put a definite finger on it, but we always knew it was important.
Since, the fall, I've been asking Julia to do more dressing and undressing for herself. So, I tell her to go upstairs at bed time, put on her pjs and put all dirty clothes in the hamper. That is a lot of directions for her but over time she has gotten pretty good at it. I still go up for teeth brushing, but she gets the tooth paste on the brushes (hers and mine) before I come up.
We then read a story or two, and I turn out the lights. Also since the Fall, I have stopped just laying down with her and now, bring my laptop in the bed and do work (or not) as she falls asleep. This started because I needed more time for school work.
Last night, I tucked her in and had to walk the dog (I usually do it before I come upstairs, but not last night). I told her I needed to walk the dog and she told me she was going to go to sleep. And she did.
Frankly, I was astounded.