Paul slept at his friend’s house last night. This was his first time sleeping outside of our house without us. Pretty cool! This was a big night for him. We talked with him about what it would be like and know he heard , and as Steph dropped him off he was fully focused on a good time playing with his friend. There was a bit of uncertainty for us though. Would he wake up in the middle of the night and get scared because he wasn’t in his own house, or call out for one of us only to find we weren’t there? There’s only one way to know and he wanted to “camp out” with his friend. And so he went.
For me: I’m excited as a dad to see my son doing something new, and for a five year old, something potentially brave. As many of you know though, I miss him when he’s sleeping in the next room so last night was not only exciting for me but also a bit...I don’t know. Not nervous; not scared; different, I guess. I don’t have a good word but suspect other moms and dads out there know what I’m trying to describe.
The best single part of this experience for me though was probably what my son said to the dog before he left the house. He took a serious and gentle tone and called to the dog, finally getting her to stop in front of him. Then he bent down and very gently told her, “dream of me, and walk with me in your dreams.” Wow. I don’t know where that came from but I was floored and almost emotional. Not because of the sleep over, but because something that big and serious came from his five year old heart. And then off he went.
Now it’s the next morning and the phone didn’t ring last night. He must have done well! I know I slept well in spite of the uncertainty in my heart. Maybe that’s the word I was looking for earlier--uncertainty. The house was very quiet: more than usual. Some of that was mental I’m sure, but it was also truly quieter. I am a very light sleeper and routinely peek in on Paul at night. No sleeping boy equals no sleeping boy sounds. But it was nice in it’s own way.
I’m proud of my son for this little life accomplishment. After all, I’ve known other kids, and have had friends who didn’t sleep outside their own house and away from mom and dad until they went to college. I love my awesome son!
It’s great to be a dad!