My two daughters LOVE having sleepovers. Every school holiday is an opportunity for them to have a friend (or more!) come over, eat every carbohydrate in the house, make a lot of noise and maybe, maybe get some sleep. (Actual sleeping is very low on the list of possible activities at a sleepover, just in case you got the wrong idea about sleepovers; the "over" part is the real star.)
I used to dread them having sleepovers; it always seemed to be an awful lot of work for me with no visible payoff whatsoever. (My children's joy and happiness notwithstanding, of course. Still...) But as they have gotten older, my role in the sleepover has dwindled to nothing more than providing snacks and not making too much noise when I get up in the morning. When they, and their friends, were younger, there was always the issue of where they were going to sleep, was I going to have to sleep downstairs if the basement was the site of choice, betwetting friends, friends who got spooked in the night and wanted to go home at 3 a.m. and the inevitable breakfast ruckus which always seemed to involve me making 12 different dishes, all involving copious amounts of maple syrup. By the time the friend's parent showed up to take them home, I was usually waiting on the front step with the child all packed and ready to go. Often with in a peevish mood and with maple syrup in my hair.
Now they are all old enough to take care of themselves, and other than buying the snacks, I have little to do with the party at all. In fact, parents staying out of the way is preferable when it comes to sleepovers. (Thing 1 tells the story of going over to a friends house, and the dad not only coming down in the wee hours to check on the crowd sleeping in his basement, he foolishly stopped to go to the bathroom before he went back up. Apparently the kids were not asleep, and nearly herniated themselves laughing at the sounds of a very loud, very long pee going on within their hearing.)
Last night Thing 1 had three friends come over, and they did what they usually do at sleepovers and I don't expect to see any signs of life from them until the early afternoon. Himself heard them still up at 5 this morning, and as I peeked in on them when I got up, it looked very much like a gangland shooting has occured in my family room: there are bodies flung all over the place, and the furniture has been punished severely. They are very likely to do it all over again at someone else's house.
When I can make my children happy and fill their lives with joy by staying in my own room and not being disturbed at all? Suddenly, I like sleepovers very much.