Eight grade three boys lay in sleeping bags, giggling and fidgeting in my basement. It was almost midnight and I started to get annoyed. Finally, they fell asleep, only to wake us with their shouting at 6 am.
And that is a typical sleepover (sleepunder?) birthday party. It smells like sweaty socks, popcorn and restless, sleep-deprived kids.
But for two of those boys it was the first time they had slept away from their parents. When they were being dropped off, the kids were super excited -- the parents, however, were so nervous you would think they were going away for three weeks to the Arctic Circle.
My kids have been to lots of sleepovers and we have hosted lots as well. When a friend sleeps at our house, we make them a treasured part of our family. We become the perfect TV-version of ourselves - nice dinners, kid-friendly movies and lots of kind, gentle conversation. Having another child for a night is a great way to get to know your kids' friends. A child becomes much more multi-faceted when you see them with bedhead, searching for something to eat in the morning.