Most of the time I didn’t even make it through the night, calling my mom to come get me sometime after midnight.
You know, after all the other kids had fallen asleep.
When I was scouting Michigan, I took two separate trips with two separate awesome individuals, but both times, the first night I was reminded of that familiar “sleepover feeling”.
Like, it’s not a sad or lonely feeling, or scared, even. I can’t really put my finger on it on the emotion wheel. I do know that I do not like it, though. But what I never gave myself the chance to learn on all those sleepovers was the fact that it goes away the next morning… and it doesn’t come back.
Now, there were times that I did power through as a kid.
In late middle school/early high school, after I had moved away to Social Circle, I would regularly sleepover at my friend Tanya’s. I did that enough so that her home became familiar to me, so I didn’t have the urge to flee in the middle of the night. We are still in touch and it’s wild to see the different paths we’ve taken.
Only two other times do I recall having a successful sleepover as a child.
One was, again, in middle school and it is the ONLY time I remember doing a sleepover and not having the urge to flee in the middle of the night. That was also in middle school, pre-Social Circle move, at my friend Jill’s house.
Jill was a really special friend to me. She was the first person I knew who spoke openly about the woman’s right to choose, when all of our classmates were wearing black armbands “because of the dead babies” (I lived in Georgia, remember), before I put mine on (to fit in- I really wanted someone to like me back then, anyone), Jill asked me if I was sure and then explained her standpoint.
I did not put one on and Jill and I are still friends to this day. Facebook friends, but I kind of think it counts, right? And weirdly enough – when I met Mickey’s family for the first time, his sister friended me on Facebook. We had a few mutual friends, but one really surprised me — Jill! Turns out they went to college together!
When I slept over at her house, her mom (who, if I remember correctly, was a single mother) made me feel so welcome and cared for. Plus, Jill was so empathetic, she noticed if I started feeling weird and (I realize this now) kind of help me work through it. This mother/daughter combo worked so well that I didn’t get one bit of my normal sleepover feelings.
The other time I remember having actual fun at a sleepover was at my elementary school friend Corrie Blazina’s house. I am sure I am butchering the spelling of her name, but we are NOT still in touch and I would love to see where she is now – so if you know her, let me KNOW!
I didn’t spend the night at Corrie’s normal house. See, her parents were divorced and it was her dad’s weekend, so I got to sleepover there… in a house without a mother. I mean, it was all kind of novel to me and maybe that’s why my brain alarms didn’t go off.
I don’t remember what we did at all, except cook Steakums together. Now, we were in like 3rd or 4th Grade, so this seemed like such a big deal, I was sure we would get in trouble.
It broke my brain a bit that my friend thought, “I’m hungry!” and then she just had the agency and know how to go cook her own food. And mine – with a tiny bit of scared lil Jacki’s help.
She was so cool. I hope she still is.
So that’s it. I don’t like sleepovers, especially after everyone else has already gone to sleep. It’s probably easier nowadays with phones, but I never really knew what to do.
I didn’t want to move, because I might be too noisy and wake someone up accidentally.
And god forbid I had to navigate myself to the bathroom. How awkward.
Especially multiple people sleepovers… so many people seemed fake and catty and gossipy and I didn’t like it. I felt like I always took the “wrong side” so mostly just shut up and listened.
I dunno why I wanted to write about sleepovers today. I didn’t feel the sleepover feeling at all. In fact, I am feeling pretty good because I did yard work two days in a row and I’m feeling hella accomplished.