Today is a school holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr, so last night ended up being the perfect time to offer up a sleepover.

We have had sleepovers in the past with Travis – either friends coming here for Travis going there.  And, when I think back on it, it seems strange to have “boy” sleepovers.  When I was little, I had tons of slumber parties and friends spending the night.  My brother?  Not so much.  In fact, my mom and I can’t remember a single time my brother had a friend stay over for the night.  I, however, was a regular on the sleepover circuit.  So, at least I have my own experience to draw upon for ideas.

Being eight, there’s not too much to plan or prepare for a sleepover.  We keep our events with our guest for the night pretty low-key.  For instance, last night’s little friend got to our house around 4, and the boys played football and hide-and-seek in the yard until it was time for dinner.  They then helped prepare dinner (we made pizza last night) and set the table.  After dinner, everyone cleaned up and I pulled out a fondue pot I had received for Christmas.  We melted the chocolate and dipped all sorts of stuff into the pot: pound cake, marshmallows, fruit, pretzels, and even cookies.  It was messy, but the boys loved it.  (I’m not so sure I’ll do it again, simply because the clean up was horrific – either that or I need a different fondue recipe!) 

Our younger son was hustled into the bathtub while the older boys played quietly, and once we got the little guy tucked into his bed for the night, we set up camp for the bigger boys in the playroom (our boys share a room, so sleepovers get special sleeping arrangements in the playroom).  The sofa bed was pulled out, and sleeping bags were dumped on top.  The boys worked on all sorts of building toys in between putting on pajamas and brushing teeth, and when they were finally ready to settle down, they were allowed to choose a DVD to watch on the computer (they chose from MY selection).  By the time the movie was over, they were beyond tired and fell asleep.

This morning is a Big Breakfast morning: eggs, pancakes, biscuits, bacon, juice, and milk.  The boys will play a bit more before our little friend’s mom comes to get him around noon.  We will have just some low-key playing and possibly some fun outdoors if the weather holds out.

The best part about sleepovers from my point of view is the time I get to spend interacting with my son’s friends.  It puts me in touch with who he plays with at school, what interests this age group, and how well my son gets along with others.  It is a wonderful window into my son’s life without prying or nagging for details.  By passively participating (being a presence without being a PRESENCE), I am privy to my son’s world outside our home.  And the kids think I’m *cool*.

That’s the best part!