Jul 4, 2016

Going to Bed with the Boy Next Door

Rock Island, November 1968.

 A Thursday, two days after my eighth birthday.  Mom isn't feeling well, so she's in bed already.  Dad made macaroni and cheese for dinner.  My brother and I are in our pajamas, watching The Flying Nun and reading books.

Suddenly Mom calls Dad into the bedroom.  He returns a few moments later.  "Boys, get your coats and shoes on.  You're going on a sleepover."

Cool!  They said I could start going on sleepovers when I turned eight, but I didn't think it would be so soon after. But why does Kenny get to go?   He's only six!   

"Who with?"  I ask.

"Mike from next door."

Mike?  But we aren't friends -- he's a year younger than me, in the second grade.  We only played together once last summer, when he talked me into running through a sprinkler with my clothes on, and got me in trouble.  

But -- a sleepover, like the big kids have!  "I'll go pack some clothes and toys."

"No, there's no time.  I'll bring you some clothes tomorrow.  Just put your coats and shoes on right over your pajamas.  And you can pick out one toy apiece to bring.  But hurry up."

Kenny and I run down the stairs to our basement room to get our shoes on, and then look for toys to bring.  My teddy bear (named Ted E. Bear) seems like an obvious choice, but I don't want to act like a little baby in front of Mike, so I choose a Tarzan action figure instead.

When we climb up the stairs again, Mike's Dad, Mr. Maartin, is standing in the living room.  "Ready to go, cowpokes?" he asks with a broad smile.

The full post is on Tales of West Hollywood.