So. These two kids. Yup. We adore them. And we had them over for a SLEEPOVER!!
We were household with four kiddos for a bit. And let me just say it was hilarious. The toddlers (E, Evster, Nene) played really well. Actually surprisingly well. Actually must-have-been-a-miracle well! We went for walks, ate food, did bedtime, played played played. Little Levi came along with whatever we did and just watched and smiled. Dare we say, Matt and I both thought it was easier and better than we expected!
Many people vocalized surprise that we did this. Voluntarily. Even small talk with my chiropractor about weekend plans ended up in him stating, “wow. that is amazing. can we become friends now?!”. Here’s our secret. We ADORE this family. When I say we were looking forward to this sleepover, we are totally serious. Knowing that it as a blessing to our friends was a highlight of course, but more than that, it was good for our family of four to be stretched. To see how E and E would respond to sharing and meeting other’s needs.
I think this also speaks to the power of our second secret. With our family of four, we can “easily” take on another two kids for a night, or a weekend, or a week. We have the energy and capacity to do bursts of this for the people in our life. Not only does this allow us to frequently bless others, but it stretches our family and creates a fun activity for us! Never before has it been so obvious to us the power of living in a tribe, a true community. Yes, it is likely our immediate family is complete at this time, but only because our extended family/community constantly grows and becomes like our own. The people in our tribe, their kids are like our kids and it is fabulous. And it is beautiful.
It was obvious that the two preschoolers knew they needed to be patient. They didn’t fight. Not once. They would run off and play by themselves. If Matt and I were helping Levi and Evy, we told them, “OK, you guys go play tinkertoys while we help these guys. Please be respectful and safe with each other”. “OTAY! Let’s go!”. They just knew we were outnumbered and did fabulous. The entire time, I watched Ethan be the “biggest brother” and it was so precious. Nene was respectful and flexible. Evy and Levi simply hung on for the ride and did their own thing.
We had a quiet house with 4 sleeping kids by 8pm. And kids slowly woke up at 6, 630, 7, and 730am. It was a BLAST!
Truly it was a blessing to be all together. I think this is going to be a new tradition!!