Last night, after months of first negotiation then anticipation, the Newman-Getzlers hosted a sleepover party for our daughters. They both have birthdays during the summer, so they rarely have had parties with school friends. That’s how we ended up with six girls under the age of 12 spending the night in our apartment along with my wife Amanda, our son Joe (whose blogging shoes I’m reluctantly—and, I suspect, unsuccessfully—trying to fill), and me.
I say “spending the night” because “sleeping at our house” would be lying. Not so much sleeping. First there was the mid-afternoon bowling, followed by the Wii, followed by the pizza followed by the movies followed by the cupcake “decorating” (read “smearing frosting all over their faces like shortstops’ glare-b-gone”).
Then it was 11:15 and the sugar rush was starting to fade and I walked into our daughters’ room. There were the six girls, sitting in various positions on or near the beds, each on her smart machine. Mostly it was phones, though there were a couple of tablets as well. Some were playing games involving fruit (?). Most were taking photos of their socks and posting them on Instagram. “I HEART ITA’S SOCKS! (followed by seventeen Imogi (??)” Nineteen friends not at the sleepover then commented, largely complimentarily, on this fascinating developing situation. My wife looked over my shoulder and shook her head.
“In our day we read BOOKS at our sleepovers.”
I almost did a legit double take.
“Oh bullshit,” I said. “In our day we watched “Emergency” and “Eight is Enough” and “The Love Boat,” then ate too many cookies and talked until midnight or until our parents got mad and made us go to sleep.”
“We also did makeup and pretended we were Cher.”
We shrugged, looked again. They were having long, involved conversations. By text message. While sitting next to each other.
Brave New World.