Katie had her best friend Patience sleep over. Patience and she met in kindergarten. They remained best friends throughout first grade. Then Patience's family moved to a different school district. Now they only get to see each other occasionally.
After Patience went home the next day, I asked Katie if she had fun.
"I had a blast!" Katie exclaimed. "I wish I could see Patience every day."
"I know. But this way it makes it extra special when you do get to see her." I tried to look on the bright side.
Katie said nothing in response. She sat there quietly. She wasn't pouting at not getting what she wants. She was feeling let-down after getting what she wanted: time with her best friend. It's never enough.
I have no lesson to teach my child about that feeling. That emptiness and longing, that intense feeling of needing to be clingy but being ashamed to be. She'll have to figure out her own way of handing that. I've got nothing. Other than the perspective that comes with having lived much longer and knowing that there will be other days of best-friend joy despite the current feeling of friendless gloom.
I asked Katie what her favorite thing was that they did during the sleepover.
"Everything," she said. Totally serious.
Here's my favorite thing they did. Will brought home some face paint. Patience drew a lion's face on herself. Will drew a bunny face on Katie and a carrot on Katie's finger so she could "munch" on it.
After Will went to bed, exhausted from working so hard, both at his paid job lifting fifty pound bags of nuts and his unpaid job of lifting a fifty pound girl who claims she's too sleepy to walk to bed herself most nights. But this night she wanted to stay up with her best friend.
They decided to paint their arms. Patience had been teaching Katie how to write in cursive earlier in the night.
Here she gave another cursive writing demo using her arm instead of paper:
Remember when things as simple as having your best friend teach you cursive writing on her arm was the best thing in the world?