So Tall asks me if he can have a sleep-over. Seven little seven-year-olds running around is about 49 times the noise level I can normally tolerate. Like the professional mommy that I am, I stall. “Where did you get this idea?” I ask sweetly.
He never does tell me where he got the idea. Instead, he begins to show me pages and pages of party details he’s already worked out. The kid has lists (did I mention that he is my child?). One list details the menu choices (hot dogs and pizza). One list suggests activities (“watch StarWars”), while yet another has the names of songs he would prefer for his very own musical mash-up (“Can’t Touch This” was a nominee—“Mommy, have you ever heard of that song?”). Location is of utmost importance (“I’m thinking we should do camping in the backyard, okay, Mom?”).
On to the list of invitees. Of course Player has made the list, as has Pal. Actually, most first-grade boys in a three-mile radius have their names neatly printed in Tall’s precise lettering on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of lined paper. “Can we invite (insert name here)? and what about (random kid he met once at playground)? and I was also thinking of (child I have never heard of who apparently did summer art camp with Tall)?”
I have not said yes (although my blatant interest in his ideas is kind of saying yes for me) but I have not said no either. I am residing in Maybe Land, a dangerous place for a parent to be.
The Husband walks in the room and gets a small whiff of Tall’s plans. Like a sunflower following the late afternoon sun, Tall’s head swivels to his father. “Pop! Mom and I are just talking about my sleep-over!”
At this point, my life flashes before my eyes. I am realizing that none (to be clear: none) of Tall’s friends have had sleep-overs yet, and if we go through with his plan, I will be the mother that all the other mothers hate: The Mom Who Introduced Sleep-Overs. Yikes—I’m not sure I am ready for that title, and the wrath it will produce with my frieghbors.
I walk to the window. Small snowflakes are falling from the sky, like a special gift from God just for me. I meet Tall’s eyes. “You know, this weather is too cold for camping,” I begin with as much faux sympathy as I can muster.
Now The Husband chimes in. “Your mother is right. I think we should wait until June.” The Husband is nodding, I am nodding. Tall, reluctantly, is nodding too.
It could snow in June, right?
(“Mom’s Only Victory”)