the first sleepover

She hosted her first sleepover
full of shrieking, shrill silliness—
loud, often competitive, assertions of self
in multiples, decibels and pitch of young girl.

Not really my cup of tea!
But she was happy.

After the movie, we made a pallet downstairs in the living room—
piled sleeping bags, pillows and blankets on top of each other
and called it a night.

Early in the morning though,
she appeared in our room,
“It’s creepy downstairs,” she said.

We told her to go back down to her friend—
that all was well—that we were right here—
to turn on a light in the next room—
that it wasn’t creepy,
and she crept out muttering under her breath,
“It is too creepy.”

A few minutes later,
I went down to lie down next to her
until she went back to sleep.
She snuggled in and held me tight.

She’ll probably remember
her guests and the games,
maybe the gifts—
the cupcake parfaits.
I’ll remember being with her—
holding her at 12:30 in the morning.

Amidst all that’s so very loud and silly
and me-preoccupied in my living and my faith,
it is sometimes good to think
that maybe what God will remember
is being with me
when I am scared.

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