Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Kids love their friends. I’m lucky that my kids are best friends with their oldest cousins. We live about 20 minutes apart, attend the same church, and the oldest teens all attend the sme high school. Of the 7 kids, the 5 oldest are the closest. They have no problem coming to any of the adults and asking for sleepovers.

But 2020 has been weird. Understatement of the year, right? Instead of seeing each other at least weekly, we’ve all been together 5 times in the last 8 months. Granted, one of those times was a week-long camping trip. It’s still been strange. For the first time in 17 years, we aren’t seeing each other, or even talking, like one big happy family. That’s ok though. Things will get better as soon as we can kick COVID-19 to the curb.

Fortunately some things haven’t changed. The kids have no problem with coming to us to ask for a sleepover. One time was during one of the worst peaks our area has seen. I felt terrible saying no. I feel like COVID shouldn’t be a reason to ever say no to our kids spending time together. Maybe that’s just me, though. Maybe it’s because our kids have already lost so much this year. Who knows.

Anyway. I have said no because of schedules. The other family has done the same. I have said no because I’m just not in the mood. So have they. I have said no because money is tight and we just can’t feed one more mouth that day. So have they. We get it. The kids get it…most of the time.

Have I mentioned that my house is full of picky eaters? I can’t remember. Well, our house is full of picky eaters. Imagine adding another kid to that mix and trying to come up with a meal that everyone will eat. Sometimes only with an hour’s notice. As all of the kids have grown it’s gotten easier because we know each other’s preferences. It helps that the cousins aren’t quite as picky as my oldest, my youngest, C, or myself. So tonight, when C made chili we only had 1 kid complain…and it wasn’t the extra kid. That’s a win!

The biggest reason that sleepovers are the devil, though, is the noise. As soon as I walked through the door with the oldest and the cousin she requested, chaos ensued. Cousin needed to say hi to everyone. Cousin also loooooooves to hug. Youngest isn’t quite as openly affectionate. Can you hear the noise as 3 teens chase a 9-year-old to give 1 hug? I hung my bag up and went right back outside.

This happened a couple more times throughout the evening. Most were sneak attacks, though, just to tease the youngest. Then things quieted down. The girls are noisy in their giggly girl way, but they’ve kept the door shut so it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve also gotten to watch them cross the house in various stages of makeup to hear them giggle more in the bathroom.

The noise isn’t all bad though. All 6 of us were laughing all throughout dinner tonight. When C laughs at dinner, you know the time is well-spent.


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