March 5, 2008

Sibling Sleepovers

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Sabrina had been looking forward to having a friend sleep over all week. She had planned crafts (friendship bracelets), submitted her menu requests (a junk food trifecta of popcorn, candy, and soda), and we'd even rented a DVD.

Then, on Friday, illness struck, and her friend cancelled.

Disappointment loomed in the air and threatened to ruin not just the evening, but the whole weekend. Sabrina can usually roll with the punches; as the daughter in a Navy family that moved as often as we did, she's had a lot of practice at being adaptable! But this one time, she had really gotten her hopes up. I couldn't blame her for being let down.

Fortunately, when I saw the sad look on Sabrina's face, I had an idea I hoped would save the weekend -- a sibling sleepover.

"Why not have a sleepover with Jake?" I suggested.

"What do you mean?" Sabrina asked.

Encouraged that Sabrina hadn't rejected my idea outright, and quickly thinking on my feet, I explained. She and her brother Jake could sleep in sleeping bags. They could eat the snacks we'd bought in her room. They could watch the DVD we'd rented. They could tell each other stories. They could even stay up late.

Sabrina thought about my proposition and finally delivered her verdict. Although the friendship bracelets would clearly have to wait, the rest of the plans were all things she could envision doing with her brother. A sibling sleepover wasn't what she had planned, but it would be better than no sleepover at all.

Sabrina and Jake had a blast that night. Believe it or not, there wasn't a single disagreement between them, perhaps because they already felt like they were breaking all the usual rules. They had so much fun, they've repeated the sibling sleepover quite a few times now -- the last time at Sabrina's suggestion, after Jake came home from school feeling down because of an argument with a friend.

There's an old expression that says necessity is the mother of invention. I think there's something to that, because Sabrina's "necessity" sure was the inspiration for this idea. And thank goodness, too. Not only did a sibling sleepover save that one weekend -- it's created quite a few fun memories for our kids since.

Have your kids ever had a "sibling sleepover"? What other fun things do they do together? Click the comments link below to share ideas.

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Sibling Sleepovers

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