Gazing at her phone, my wife gave the report from the passenger seat: “Sounds like she stayed up until around 12:15 and then slept until around 8.”
Okay, I thought, she’s going to be tired. Oh boy.
“Come on, that’s not too bad for a slumber party,” my wife added, attempting to provide meaningful context. Apparently she could read my concern. At that, I swung the car left into the driveway to pick up my oldest daughter. Greeting us and waving their arms from the front yard, two ten year-olds happily ran toward the car.
Turning off the motor, I opened the door. “Hi, honey!” I chirped. “Hey, how was your sleepover?”
“Great!” she answered, hugging me around the waist. All four parents gathered in the driveway, along with our various a-sundry children. After some brief pleasantries, everyone decided to stroll to the backyard to see the cool rope-disk swing. My daughter seemed excited to show this off to her parents. “You have to see this swing, Dad! It’s so cool!” she said.
With sun glinting through a dense row of fir trees, I struck up conversation with my daughter as we walked toward the backyard. “So,” I began, “I hear you stayed up late last night? You must be tired?”
“Yeah,” she smiled. “We did. We played Battleship until 11:00. Then I stayed up until 12:15 reading.”
At a slumber party.
I realize I am in a sweet spot right now. She’s only ten. But she loves to read. And she picks reading over anything else she could have done… at a sleepover on a Friday night.
Silently, I celebrated.