In the past he has tried, but always left early because he was too nervous to stay over, but this time he was committed to stay the entire time. So when I got the call at midnight, I thought, oh bummer, he wants to come home, but on the other end of the receiver I heard an excited voice asking me to bring him his DS game system since all the other boys were playing theirs and he was feeling a little left out. So off I went to make the midnight delivery, feeling a little anxious about what I know to be true, Protect his sleep like it’s a religion!
As I made the drop off I was excited to see him having the time of his life with all the other boys. Compare that to previous parties (the few he has attended) where he spent his entire time hanging out with the parent because he was too anxious to play with the other kids.
This morning when I picked him up, I heard the sounds of disappintment from the other boys that were sad to see him leave. My son on the other hand was beaming! He won 3 contests at the party, even taking home the grand prize and had so much fun with all the other boys. Then I heard the alarming news, “We stayed up until 2:30!”
Yikes! So I brought him home, full of excitement and giggles over all the fun and put him to bed when he got home. It took a lot of work to get his body calm, but with a dark room and a head massage, he started to drift off to sleep.
Even though I was nervous about the sleep disruption and the consequences we may face for it, I’m still glad he went, the social growth that will come out of this positive experience is worth it. Sometimes as parents we have to make tough decisions and choose what’s better over what’s good.