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School started here August 14, which makes this the second “official” Friday night of the school year. Friday nights in the summer are lovely, especially for families where the breadwinner works a nine-to-five job. But once school starts, Friday nights gain magical powers.

At our house, the joys of Friday night begin as soon as the last bell rings: No homework for the weekend! Instead of coming home, grabbing a snack, and settling down with her math and reading homework before enjoying any downtime, Lily starts planning her evening’s agenda in the car on the way home. Sometimes it includes playing with her cousins who live down the street. Sometimes (like tonight) she hangs out with Mom, Dad, and Sister in the back yard until way after dark.

Tonight's tent, assembled with clothes pins, laundry baskets, and bedcovers.

Tonight’s tent, assembled with clothes pins, laundry baskets, and bedcovers.

And on those really special evenings, she and her little sister make a wonderful tent in the middle of the living room and sleep where they stop moving. Tonight’s tent-and-a-movie experience was enhanced by a big bowl of buttery popcorn. What could be better?

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