Sleepovers and letting go

A couple of Saturdays ago as I lingered in bed for a little while, appreciating that it was the weekend and I had no early morning breakfasts or lunches to prepare for the kids, Nick appeared in my room and snuggled up next to me – he’s twelve so this is really, really special. He asked if his friend J could come over and spend the night during school vacation and I simply said sure, I don’t see why not. His face lit up as he said he loves that about me as a Mom, that I’m always okay with his friends coming over to visit, excuse me hang out, or to have a sleepover. Of course he doesn’t realize this is more for me than for him because when I was a teen I can remember on one hand how many sleepovers I had with my girlfriends at our house, and I had to beg and plead and make sure my parents were in just the right mood before asking, something I would never want my son to feel when he comes to me with a request. Also, though, I like to have him close. I like to have his friends here so I know he’s safe, so I know what he’s doing and what he’s eating. Rationally I know he’s pretty safe and okay at the homes of his friends, but sometimes as a Mom I just get this uneasy feeling, and start wondering if there are guns in the home and if there are, are they locked and safely stored. Or if the family owns an ATV(all-terrain vehicle) and Nick will be riding it and if he will be supervised and wearing a helmet and being safe. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll be secretly hoping he fails his driver’s test the first time, and maybe the second. Okay, probably the third time, too.

I know I can’t be the only Mom that worries like this. I can’t possibly be the only one who doesn’t hesitate just a little as I say goodbye as he heads off to a sleepover. No matter how many conversations I’ve had with him or with the Moms of his friends I will always worry a little, or a lot, it would totally be in the Mom handbook if there were such a thing. So here we are at the  end of school vacation week and I agreed that J could come and spend the night tonight (Friday) so Nick excitedly dialed his cell phone and they started to make plans. A little while later J called back and told Nick his Mom was okay with a sleepover, but it had to be at their house. I’m pretty sure this has less to do with something wrong with our home and way more because she is totally just like me. It appears I have competition.

So I took a deep breath and agreed to it. Nick has been to their home before and aside from the fact that J’s Dad bought them donuts for breakfast, I suppose they are pretty good parents. Just to be clear, we eat donuts sometimes, but that’s for me to decide not someone else and it has nothing to do with being a control freak.  Not. At. All.

I made him shower, brush his teeth, pack his duffel bag, make his bed and I probably asked him three times if he was sure he wanted to go because staying home is obviously way more fun than going to spend the night with one of your best buddies. I may have also reminded him Friday is pizza night for dinner and he was going to miss it because I was simply not going to postpone it until Saturday for him. He saw right through that. I don’t know where he gets the stubbornness from, but I just could not persuade him change his mind. So we stood out in the driveway and waited for J and his Mom to pick Nick up. I made him pose for a picture for no reason other than I needed a distraction. You’d think these people were taking him on a long weekend to the middle of nowhere with no access to running water, heat, or his cell phone.

They arrived, I got a big goodbye hug from Nick – note that I got a goodbye hug. From a twelve year old. In front of his friend. I know just how awesome this is, especially since J’s Mom made a comment that she never gets hugs anymore. I know he’s going to have lots of fun, eat junk food, stay up way too late, and probably forget to brush his teeth, but that’s what makes sleepovers fun. Letting go is so hard, but once he’s back home and I’m hearing about the fun he had and the joy in his voice that comes from having a really, really good friend I know I’ll feel better. For that reason alone, I know I made the right choice. Saying yes to a sleepover. At somebody else’s house.

And now I’m going to cry my way through his baby book. What?! It’s that or I go spying in the windows of his friend’s house and we all know I’m not that bad.


  1. I was thinking about this the other day. My son is only 3, so we’re a few years away from sleepovers, but i hope our house will always be a place where his friends feel welcome. I’m an only child and I ALWAYS had people at my house. My parents were a lot like this–they liked to keep me near. Plus, they were cool and kind of left us alone to play, but made sure things were take care of (toothbrushing, bathing, etc.). I hope you found something fun to do in Nick’s absence! Also, it is AWESOME that he still gives you hugs!

    • Thanks so much Jen! Oh for him to be 3 again and clinging to every part of my body. It sure goes by so quickly. *sigh* I’ll savor every hug I get. 🙂

  2. Tara Burner says

    LOL tooo funny and I can relate because I have a 15 yr old daughter but see while I’m glad she can go to friends and have fun, enjoy herself…I dont look through the baby book or go peeping in windows…I occasionally text her! LOL she knows thats part of the deal…I need to either get a text or hear from her at some point in the evening. So, it works…we’re both happy and I survive the night…barely…oh and I haven’t pushed for her to get her learners permit yet either…technically she could’ve gotten it a few months ago! (yikes!)
    Tara Burner recently posted..Pina-Banana Chocolate Shakeology RecipeMy Profile

    • Yeah Tara, I might be a little protective. LOL He does have a cell phone and I talk to him at least a couple of times, but boy it’s hard. Maybe when he’s older it might be easier. Somehow I doubt it, though. No driving until they are at least 25. 😉

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