Two years ago, my daughter and I started a new tradition we call “Mommy Sleep-Over.” It’s pretty simple. I bring my my pillows into my daughter’s room, pull out the trundle part of her trundle bed, and spend the night in a fairy’s paradise.
Of course, the evening only ends with sleeping. First, we go out for a treat … usually something of the chocolate variety. Then, we do something girly (as if eating chocolate together and giggling is not girly enough), like put on temporary princess tattoos or paint our toenails, or play “hair stylist.”
Oh and we talk.
And even though she’s only seven, the conversation some times gets deep. We talk about school, about how life was in the “old days” (circa 1982) and how she feels scared every now and then but does not really know why.
I know there may come a day when she will find this tradition “lame.”
But I also know that the day will come when she sees these play dates as what they really were meant to be … a lesson of community.
I actually did not set out to have the sleep-overs to teach her about community. Our tradition started because we had just moved and she was apprehensive about being in a new bed … in a new bedroom … in a new house (Oh yeah, and in a new city … and new state … three weeks before starting Kindergarten). She needed to be comforted, but in a non invasive, subtle way.
With each sleep-over, we unknowingly studied the importance of being an authentic community member. We learned more about what it means to be a good listener, a comforter, a practical joke cohort, a dream enabler and an encourager.
Authentic community is strong. It requires commitment, but can grow regardless of gaps in age. It can bless even at a distance.
As I think about past and future sleep-overs with my daughter, I think about my sweet (in)courage sisters who went to Hilton Head for a huge sleep-over of sorts. Oh the fun they had! Although I was not able to attend the gathering, I am richly blessed just knowing that my sweet (in)sisters had the opportunity to look each other in the eyes as they talked, laughed, ate, dreamed, schemed, played and dance.
I am also thinking about the upcoming community experience in April. While there are no beaches in the Mid-Ohio Valley, I am thrilled thinking of ways to bring the surf to Marietta. I’ll confess, I miss the real beach and get giddy at the thought of recreating it (and about making Samoa cupcakes) … but more importantly, I am looking forward to spending face-to-face time with my (in)community … (in)Real Life.
Will you be attending an (in)Real Life event? Which one? If so, what are you looking forward to the most?
Angela Nazworth is “starting over” in the blog world at AngelaNazworth.com where she writes about the freedom that comes with embracing your true identity in Christ.Leave a Comment