On Saturday evening we safety-pinned a few sheets together, draped them over chairs, and placed a few books to hold our makeshift tent in place. Our daughter’s eyes opened wide as she witnessed in slow-motion how a few simple actions could help create her little world. She giggled as she jumped up and down, “Momma, I am so excited for my very first sleepover.”

 

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This past Saturday night, three of her friends came to share her world under tent. They painted t-shirts, watched movies, and played Twister. As the night winded down, they huddled inside and played with their dolls. A few times I heard them engage in some pretend play, where one girl became the Momma and the others acted like babies. As a mother of an only child, the sounds offered a comfort that I didn’t expect. It was the first time that I heard a chorus full of girls in our house all at once. They were laughing, whispering, and engaging in little girl banter in language they only understood. My daughter and her friends fell asleep close to midnight, while trying to practice cursive letters and playing a game of Wheel of Fortune.

Several times during the sleepover, I observed how they became giddy with the most simple activities. They ate popcorn while watching the movie, “Cloudy With Meatballs.” Their contentment pulsed through the room. There weren’t distracted by texting or phones or anything else. All they cared to witness was the present. Every moment dominoed from the original moment.

When they woke the next morning, I know my daughter knew that in a few hours a silence would fill the air. Her friends would return to their homes, while she would hold onto the memory of little girl bliss from the night before. Since my daughter’s emotions are always brimming, I half expected her to cry. Her actual reaction surprised me. About 30 minutes after her friends left, she presented me with a note.

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This downpour of love is colored with so much innocence and unconditional love. The sleepover was such a small act, but her reaction brought me to tears. I know in retrospect our personal kaleidoscopes will always focus on this memory. My gesture. And her downpour of love.

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