My friends who have boys in junior high, always complain about how it's so hard to talk to their sons. They say most of their questions are met with one word answers or grunts. How wonderful would that be? Yeah, yeah, I know it's good that my daughters feel comfortable enough to talk to me about everything. But every now and then, I fantasize about having a boy who would say, "Nothing," when I asked him what was wrong.
On Saturday afternoon I was transporting what seemed like 150, but was really closer to five kids from one destination to another. There were a couple of boys in the car, and they totally shattered my illusions. They talked more than the girls. (which I honestly, had no idea was even possible) So, here's my version of overheard in the backseat of a 1999 pine green Subaru station wagon:
Teen Boy: Last summer all we did was play Halo. It was so boring, and my friends were so mean to me. One time I washed with some soap my mom got at Bath and Body Works and the guys kept telling me how pretty I smelled. They just kept flipping me shit and they wouldn't stop, so I slapped one of them. He turned around and slugged me, but not very hard because he didn't want to lose his game. So, then I said, hey watch it, you almost died and when he turned to pay attention to his game, I punched him in the face really hard. He was so mad. He told me that if I didn't smell so good, he would have fuckin' killed me.
At this point, I think I should maybe say something, but I'm not sure what. Plus, there's a sixth grade kid jogging just ahead of me on the sidewalk. He's wearing an iPod and he looks all kinds of spaced-out, so I pay a little more attention than I normally would have. Sure as shit, he turns without looking, and runs right in front of my car in the middle of the street. If I hadn't been watching him, I would have hit the poor dumb kid for sure. All of us in the car are a little shaken. I would have felt horrible, if I had hit him, which is why I'm irrationally pissed-off at him
Teen Girl: I know that kid. He used to go out with a girl I know.
Me: Has he always smoked crack?
Teen Girl: What?
Teen Boy: Dude. What a dick. We should just go back there and all kick his ass.
Me: (Just in my head) That would be awesome. I'd feel so much better about almost, accidentally, hurting someone, by taking all the power back and hurting him on purpose.
Me: (Aloud this time) Although it sounds tempting, how about we just get you all home safely? Is that your house there, with the basketball hoop in the driveway?
Sometimes it's no fun to be the parent.