Sleepover

sleepover_by_celestialteez-d59d8el
Image from CelestialTeez

My youngest kid and his neighborhood friends are crazy about it. Often, when Friday night comes, they come to our place and ask for my kid. And I and wife know what it’s all about—sleepover.

And they have a strategy to get us to allow our kid, Tan, to the sleepover. First, they chat at our front porch, making sure we hear them talk, and try their best to sound nice and polite. Then the announcement comes: “Can we invite Tan for a sleepover?”

Sometimes we reject the invite, especially when our kid has exams. But sometimes we allow Tan to the sleepover because I understand how adolescence is. That youth stage is when they need special company from their peers. They need time together to be intimately crazy. I remember when I was a teenager and having good times with my close peers meant a lot to me—especially when talking about our crushes.

To checkout a short story I wrote on teenage crushes, get instructions on how to get the password to “Why He Didn’t Fall in Love” here.  Then apply the password on this page.

But in my youth, “sleepover” was seldom practiced. Well, my older brother and his “barkada” (buddies) practiced it a lot. They often slept in our room (I and my brother shared the same room) and even practically lived with us. Good that my dad made a lot of money being editor-in-chief so he could sponsor my brother’s buddies even if they ate a lot.

But I and my friends never got to experience “sleepovers” except when we went for vacations in Bataan in college. And yes, I slept over my classmates’ homes when we had to do junior theses in Architecture. Other than that, I never had the chance to sleepover at my neighborhood friends’ places.

Tan and his friends always ate a lot during their sleepovers before they went to bed. And they played a lot of PC games. Sometimes, they’d tell stories and laugh at each other. They often went to bed at dawn, being awake all night. I know it’s an unhealthy practice, but that’s teen life. Sometimes they need that. I remember how my childhood friend, Arturo, and I sometimes chatted at our garden or terrace from night until daybreak, especially on Christmas Eve.

Tan would go home at around 8 or 9 the following morning (Saturday) all sleepy and dizzy. He would go up straight to bed and doze off till 11 or 12 am. Most dads would probably scold their kids (my dad would), but I don’t want my kid to miss these silly teen adventures while he’s young. One day he’d assume responsibilities and become a dad like me. And I want him to have something to look back to and smile.

I had a lot of silly adventures, too, with my close friends—like the time Pabs and I played “ninja” so well one night that our neighbors thought real athletic ninja thieves were in the neighborhood climbing walls and tumbling over fences. So they alarmed everyone. Flashlights beamed everywhere and I thought I even heard some guns cock.

Just the right amount of sleepovers isn’t harmful. In fact, I believe it helps kids relate better with their peers and trains them how to handle camaraderie. Just check your kid now and then to make sure they’re not doing something foul. How do I do this? I casually talk with my kids and listen to their adventures. They’re honest if you’re not a threat to them. The thing is NOT to scold them always but to often listen to them and watch how they express themselves.

You’d note that kids who have good times with their close friends—like during a sleepover—can better express themselves and feel free doing it. When they’re with their peers, they’re freer. And freedom helps you grow up and mature the way you should.

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