Middle Son was to celebrate his 13th birthday, the Man of the House was to be out of town, and that left me in charge of a group of 4 middle school boys who were to go bowling, out to eat, and ice skating. All I could think of was lots of burping and wildness and covert "bodily function" jokes. For 5 hours. Ooof, knots tightening!
What I found out was what delightful fun middle school boys are. And I remembered that I do really love this age. I love their zany craziness and their lack of self-consciousness and their zest for life.
Middle school boys are young enough to be adorably cute,
but old enough to see the handsome men they're going to become.
And for the most part they still have a good self-concept. Some, an amazingly good self-concept.
They shamelessly overreact to the success or failure of their bowling.
They're still willing to accept help when they need it.
But persevere independently when trying and trying and yet again trying to learn a new skill.
They wear plaid.
I love plaid.
They reward you by eating heartily.
Yes, I think they enjoyed that meal.
They bond as friends without the backstabbing, pettiness, or sensitivity that one might find in another gender of our fine species.
They made me laugh and beam and roll my eyes. And when at the end of the day they asked for an hour of swimming, I was ready for more.
By 6:00 p.m., the knots were replaced by smiles . . . and the need for a really good night's sleep.
And, I might add, I never heard a burp.