Fridays bring a bit of foreboding to those within the walls of the House O’Saw. Though it may seem disconcerting not to relish the gateway to the weekend, custody legalities can diminish joy and hinder the heart. However, sometimes, the week’s end finds our family together, with all members accounted for.

These rare opportunities are cherished events and we make the most of them. Plans for a restful relaxing couple’s retreat are abandoned and transformed into fun festivities for three. Games are played, yummy snacks are procured, movies watched and bedtimes pushed back. Of course there is the occasional lull of a potential spontaneous nap or writing endeavor which takes precedence. Even then spirits are good and morale is high… albeit potentially unconscious.

Despite our best efforts for fun there is one childhood weekend activity which eludes us. Due to unpredictable randomness and last minute awareness of these weekends it proves impossible to invite little friends over for an impromptu sleepover. Never wanting a child to want for any experience… we improvise.

Once the child’s presence is confirmed as the evening draws to a close, he will have a decision to make­—which parental figure will he invite to sleepover? He’s always fair, making sure we take turns; which he manages with an amazing consistency for a seven year old. The chosen “guest” will bunk with him and a select group of stuffies in the comfort of our queen-sized big people bed. Uninvited adults are resigned to the sofa.

Don’t get me wrong, our little apartment sized sofa is great for a quick afternoon nap. But sleeping the entire night there is a little piece of narrow hell on earth… my arms and legs keep falling off. Not like disconnecting from my body, just sliding off the sofa. Which leaves only one other option for attempting a decent night’s rest.

So as night falls Grandkid Gabe (formerly known as Tot) and Grammie (a.k.a. Lil’ Red, the spouse) are tucked into queen-sized, memory foamed relative comfort with the current happy kid’s flick playing. As for myself…I’ll be stepping next door.

There’s something disquieting about sleeping in a child’s room. It’s almost as if every object in the room, from the rug to the curtains, presses in for a closer loo, quietly questioning, “Where is our child? You are not our boy!” It makes the room feel smaller, but the twin bed no less more comfortable than the sofa. I’ll just sleep on top of the Batman comforter with my own blanket and pillow to alleviate some of the weirdness.

Plastic eyes of the remaining stuffies, who didn’t make the sleepover cut, gleam in the semi-darkness, boring into my soul, “Why weren’t we chosen?” I feel their pain but am too tired for stuffed sympathies. So just roll-over and… there’s the bear. Stuffed bears don’t trigger my arkoudaphobia (fear of bears) but giant ones slumped in a dark corner are kinda unnerving. Still the big bear’s plight is far more tragic than his fellows. Being as big as the bed, he can never sleep in the bed and thus never know the love of a… did that thing just move??? No, that’s ridiculous; just a trick of the light and exhausted overactive mind.

But what if a dwarf snuck into the house and hid within the bears stuffing? Now he’s just sitting there, bidding his time, till we’re all asleep. Then he’ll sneak out and steal our shoes… or is that elves? Yes, I’m certain it moved. Slowly rising, I approach; there’s only one way to deal with a Trojan Bear.

Back in bed now and nursing my sore foot. Luckily the bear’s head was well padded or I would have broken my toes on the bookshelf behind it… when I kicked in its face. Pretty sure there’s no one in there and now I can sleep soundly. Knowing tomorrow night will be my turn to sleepover, Lil Red prefers the sofa… I’ll move the bear in there once she’s asleep.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused. See ya.