I had a feeling it would happen, the last few attempts at a sleepover didn't go so well. Should I have sent him, I wondered, and I questioned it, but I knew he was in good hands and the worst case scenario, I pick him up.
He was so excited, bouncing up and down, together with his best buddy, they planned grand adventures for their night. I kissed him hard and gave my best squeeze, "You'll do great bud! See you in the morning, I love you!". He was off.
The phone rang at 11:30 pm, the call I expected but for his sake, hoped I wouldn't get. So many tears on the other end and I assured him I'd be right there, no big deal, mama isn't mad.
In the dark of night, I watched my eight-year-old boy, shoulders heaving, tears pouring. He looked so big and so small all at once, and I gathered him into my arms. "I'm not upset bud, you tried. You tried so hard, and you'll try and try again until you get it. Promise."
He nodded but cried the rest of the drive home. He felt like he failed his friend, he didn't think he'd miss me as much, my big-little boy had such hopes and plans for this sleepover and he felt disappointed.
Oh, that word. Disappointment. The waves of it, and in the grand scheme of life, this is so small compared to the things he will likely face in his future, but for him, for now? This was huge, gigantic really. This wave overtook him and he felt it hard.
Though I carry exhaustion today, broken sleep will do that to you, I am immensely honored to have been his anchor last night. To have the opportunity to assure him he will get another chance, and another, and another, and one day, he'll ride that wave and wake up after the best sleepover, ever.
Isn't this motherhood? The late night sleepover pick-ups? The gathering of babies under our wing? The assurance that disappointments are a part of life?
It's a beautiful chaos I'm so glad I get to navigate.