Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Different Kind of Mother's Day Gift

“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.” – Tupac Shakur

My nine year old is hosting her first sleepover ever right now. There is a room of giggling, squealing nine-year-old girls on the other side of the house who have just stuffed themselves with almost an entire large cheese pizza (little girls can eat a lot). They are now happily swiping polish on each other’s nails and watching Dog with a Blog (one of Disney’s more hideous shows, in my opinion). They just spent two hours coloring every flagstone in my backyard with sidewalk chalk so my backyard is blooming with dusty color. It’s fabulous.

This sleepover came with much drama in the making.

Emma desperately wanted to invite some friends over for a “just because” sleepover this weekend. I tried to tell her it’s Mother’s Day weekend and a lot of her friends may not be able to come because their parents may have plans, but she was determined that it simply had to be this weekend.

So, we sat down and made invitations for the three girls she wanted to invite (I just didn’t think my nerves, my sanity, could handle more than that). We included my number to RSVP yes or no, the drop-off time, the pick-up time, all the details. We made them colorful, we made them personalized. She was super excited.

She handed them out on Monday. By Friday afternoon, no one had RSVP’d. I had no idea who was coming, or even if anyone was coming. Emma was terribly upset because she thought her sleepover was falling apart before it began.

During the week, Emma made a list of activities for her and her friends to do. She didn’t want to just “wing it” at her sleepover; she wanted to make sure there were plenty of fun things to keep everyone going. On her trusty little notepad, she wrote:

1. draw with outside chalk
2. play with bubbles
3. wii
4. paint nails
5. makeovers
6. fashion show
7. color
8. FOOD!!!
9. make blanket forts
10. have fun and no fighting!

I love that she wrote “no fighting” on her list of ways to have fun. She put a lot of thought into this list (especially number 8, can you tell? Three exclamation marks.). But now who was coming?

Early Friday evening I received a call from one of the girl’s parents saying that she wouldn’t be able to attend “after all”. After all? Really? Was she planning to attend in the first place? So our list of possible attendees was down to two. Then we got a call – finally – that someone was coming! Emma just lit up like a sunbeam.

The final sleepover invitee didn’t RSVP until Saturday morning (this is for the sleepover Saturday afternoon). She was also coming. Now Emma would get to have two guests. She was so thrilled I thought her skin was going to explode.

Emma bustled around the house, cleaning, organizing, straightening things up. I ordered pizza for a dinner treat and Emma was practically dancing with joy. Then her friends began arriving and she went into full-on hostess mode:

“Hello, Emily, would you like me to show you where you can put your bags?”

“Oh, don’t mind the dogs. They’re a bit sniffy, but they won’t jump.”

“Come in, Mackey, come in, let me give you a tour of the house.”

She just reveled in her tiny group of people and was so all-consumingly happy that her sleepover had come to fruition.

She’s nine years old and this dream of hers – To Host a Sleepover - that she’s had for a couple of years, has come true. She’s riding high and living her dream. Right now. Right now she knows the glorious, intensely satisfying feeling of wishes coming true.

It's not stargazer lilies. It's not chocolate-covered caramels. It's not even a Coke Icee. This is the best Mother’s Day present I could get: to make my daughter’s wish come true.

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