I went down the basement just now. One-thirty pm. There are pillows and blankets all over the floor, three dead water bottles and an empty cookie package. Gaming controllers are strewn about. Some went home with the boys. My son sits in his gaming chair, glasses on, hair askew. He’s focused on his target on the screen, but not totally socially awake yet.
At 9:30am the first two boys had to go home. I went into the basement and called their names, not knowing for sure which body was sleeping where. Minimal movement. A little sign of life. Confusion. I say their names again. A blanket slowly rises from the floor, a boy underneath. They packed light, so there’s not much to bring home from the pile of chaos. Shoes. Phone. Coat? Nah, it was 65 yesterday. Don’t be silly.
It’s fun having 8th grade boys for an overnight gathering. They’re low maintenance. They laugh. They game. They eat. I go downstairs early in the event, bearing pillows and blankets for later. Each boy has his face in some digital screen – yet they’re talking to each other. They’re bonding. I don’t understand their words. Gaming words. Eighth grade boy words.
I know they’re naughty sometimes. Their teachers know. But right now I’m proud of what great kids they are, how well they get along, how funny they are together. Please and thank you. And they call me Mrs. Lang. And as soon as he’s socially awake, my 8th grade boy will be cleaning up those remnants of fun. And he will be completely charming today. If he wants to do it again.