The Sleepover

Tonight Leah is having a sleepover at my mom’s house, something she does pretty often. With the addition of a swimming pool to their child’s dream land I knew that they would want to take Leah fairly early so that she would have time to swim. Well, I made the mistake of telling Leah about her sleepover on Wednesday. Yeah…four days ago.

Every day it has been, “How many days until my sleepover at Mana’s house?” or “Is the next day my sleepover day?”

Finally, yesterday I was able to tell her that yes, her sleepover day was tomorrow. So, this morning she woke me up at 6:20, coming into my room and shouting “Today is my sleepover day at Mana’s!”

All day I endured questions such as, “When will Mana be here?” “Has she called yet?” and “Is it time for my sleepover yet?” I smiled through each one, thinking about how lucky I am that my kid has such a great relationship with her grandparents, and that she is comfortable spending the night away from me, which is something I never did until the age of 10 or 11.

I also had something to look forward to myself. Since I knew Leah would leave before Dave got home I planned to take a nap. All day I daydreamed and tried to decide between the bed or the comfy couch in the family room, the pink afghan or the brown fleecy blanket? I got the house to optimum nap temperature by turning up the a/c and keeping it dark.

I haven’t slept in a still, quiet house for a long time. I haven’t slept until I woke up on my own and refreshed, with no noise whatsoever in years. Oh, a sleep where no one would be making a mess of my house or resenting the time that I slumbered away. What a glorious thought!

I regarded it as Gollum regarded his precious ring.

Finally, at two o’clock, my mom came to get Leah. She was ready to go, already in her swimsuit and with her packed overnight bag by the door. As I kissed her goodbye, and hugged my mom, I couldn’t help but glance longingly toward the couch where I had decided to nap. They exited the house in a flurry of chatter and excitement. As the door closed behind them I felt-

Lonely. My little ray of sunshine left without me, and the house felt quiet and abandoned. It is rare for me to be home alone since becoming a mom, and suddenly I didn’t know what to do with myself. I puttered around, picking up a few stray toys, and putting away the laundry. I grabbed the pink afghan and settled onto the couch and thought of Leah swimming in the sunshine and having a blast. I knew that she was having blast.

It was with that thought, and a smile on my face that I fell asleep in my silent home at last.

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