Two days after brother Dave’s family arrived in town from their home in Texas my boys talked their 6-year-old cousin Steve into staying overnight at our house.
Space was no problem. We can always squeeze an extra in somewhere . There were two other problems though. First, Steve had never stayed over at our house without his family. Second, he was afraid of our two dogs.
That night when the tears which usually precede the “I want to see my Mom” cry began. I apologized and told Steven that I was busy right then, but if he could wait I’d call his mom when I finished, and if he wished I’d take him to Grandma Gauvey’s house where his mom was.
Steve agreed and wiped away the tears.
I thought he and our boys would go to sleep before I finished my work. But, they were still going strong when I went to bed. Steve did slow down long enough to tell me he’d decided to grow up so he wouldn’t be needing to see his mom.
The dog problem was overcome by the ingenuity of our 8-year-old Eddy. He let Steve sleep in the top bunk and Eddy slept on the outer edge as guard. He also promised Steve that if he had to go to the bathroom Eddy would carry him so the dogs couldn’t get near.
A few nights later Steve’s 8-year-old brother, Dave Junior, decided he wanted to stay overnight. He had stayed over with friends before, and he wasn’t afraid of the dogs, so all systems seemed go.
Then Steve came with a plea, “Aunt Kathleen, can’t I please stay too?”
I knew he was “grown up” so he wouldn’t need Mommy, but how about the dogs?
Steve grabbed one of them around the neck and planted a kiss on the furry head.
“Okay,” I agreed, “but somebody might have to sleep on the floor.”
“Great!!” the whole male chorus replied.
The next customer for the same night was our neighbor’s grandson, Tracy. “Hey, Mom, can Trace stay over too?” our Bob asked.
“Where will everyone sleep?” I asked.
“On the floor!” was the enthusiastic response.
And that’s where they slept too.
Two boys plus one dog “slept” on the tent floor in the backyard, and three boys “slept” on our front porch floor.
Our two youngest boys, Joe and John, actually went to sleep on the living room floor even before I went to bed. I took pity on them and carried them to their own beds, one at a time. They’re still complaining about it. Now just how cruel can one mother be? Imagine making a little kid sleep in a bed!
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her columns, Back Around the House and All Around the House. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.