Risa is having her friend "T" sleep over on Saturday. The requests (begging) for a sleepover started last year, and I kept postponing them with "next spring you can do it." This was arbitrary, mind you, but the idea planted in her head, and now spring is here, and the idea of a sleepover bloomed in full. T comes tomorrow afternoon and spends the night. I don't know how to describe the joy in Risa's brain. "Exploding fireworks" comes to mind.
"Can you and I come up with all the things that T and I can do Saturday night?" Risa asked me yesterday.
"Sure, you guys can have dinner, paint your toe nails crazy colors, and play XBox soccer," I offered.
"No, like can we come up with a plan of exactly what she and I can do from the moment she arrives until she leaves on Sunday? Like, EVERYTHING we can do. Like a real list."
Ummm, what? That's a bit excessive, I thought. It might even scare T off. It's scaring me off.
But then I remembered...
The excitement of your first sleepover, when you suddenly have hours and hours to play and talk and just hang out without looking at your watch and worrying about when adults will cut off the fun. Tack on the pride of knowing you're a little more grown-up now, ready for sleepovers and not just playdates. Suddenly you'll have social bragging rights about your sleepover at school on Monday. Plus, there's the fun of having someone else - a friend, no less - sleeping in the same room as you for the whole night, with silly secrets to be spilled. (And for an only child, there is the added thrill of having another kid in the house for that long - balancing out the adult-to-kid ratio for a full 24 hours.) Sleepovers - which I also remember sometimes come with tears and hurt feelings and exhaustion and adults gone wild with frustration- are all about the endless possibilities. For once, you've got time on your side.
It will be my job to tell the girls at least three times that "It's time for bed" and then add "I'm not kidding!" and then use my sternest voice while I threaten to separate them if they don't pipe down. (That's what I do, right, other than make french toast in the morning?) But yesterday, I allowed myself for my girl's benefit to get swept away in the enthusiasm and helped Risa make her crazy list. "Okay, T, will come at 5 PM. At 5:02 PM, she'll take her things upstairs and you can get the beds ready like you like them for later that night, At 5:09..." We've even got Mad Libs so now it's a sleepover. I just better not hear the words "Truth or Dare" coming out of anyone's mouth - or I swear I will separate those girls.
I am a journalist, filmmaker, author, wife, and mom to an 8-year-old daughter. My most recent project is I Love Mondays: And other confessions from devoted working moms. Other projects explore raising only children, happily ever after, raising strong girls, and hot topics for Jewish women.
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