Oh, yeah. Slumber party.
Chad & I began doing stuff in the children's ministry at South Plains within a year of our arrival there 8 1/2 years ago. More accurately, I said, "Hey, I'm going to work with Bible bowl," and he came along for the ride. Since then, we've done a few rounds of Bible bowl, several quarters of Sunday school, and most recently, we've Journeylanded for a few rotations.
All told, we've met-- in some form or fashion-- almost every kid at South Plains between six and 19 years old. We love the South Plains kids. Some of them like us in return (and we're still surprised at the ones who like us the most!).
So, before skipping town I wanted to have some of the girls over for a slumber party. It took some doing to choose a weekend when most of us were in town and not running in a race, because today's youth are ridiculously over-scheduled (although that may be a topic for another post).
We played Concentration. We played Skip-Bo (I think). We played "Let's all go outside & flag down Mrs. Parrish because she can't find my apartment." I did a bunch of hair wraps (no word on how long any of them stayed in). We played Mad Gab. We played "Take pictures of Ruth because she's the first one asleep." We watched a couple of movies with the same actress-- I cannot remember which actress nor the names of her movies. (Told you I'm not a movie person.) We had popcorn & stopped all movie-watching long enough to make no-bake cookies at 1 AM (which Ruth managed to sleep through).
I'm told Anna Beth & Annie stayed up until 4:30 AM. I know for sure that everyone woke up when Gabby had to leave for work at 9. We had no-bakes and pancakes for breakfast, played some more Mad Gab, and one by one, they all went home. And they didn't completely wreck my apartment. Nor, as far as I know, did we keep the neighbours up too late.
I was sad for the night to end, because it's another sign that this era in our lives in coming to a close. Soon, so very soon, this
apartment that was filled with giggling girls will be filled with packed boxes. And then it will be emptied... and we'll be gone. The church that we have loved has not agreed to move with us to Austin en masse. Someone else will host the slumber parties and do the hair wraps. Someone else will make Saturday morning pancakes for other people's children.
Someone else will stay up to make cookies at 1 AM. I hope that one day it's these same girls, paying it forward in the same way I pay it forward now. I hope that it's at least a little bit due to our example.
And I know for sure there are girls in Austin who will want to stay up late, make hair wraps and eat cookies. I look forward to meeting them.