Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hiding in Trees From Girls

I pick up T last night from a football game. It is my former high school's Homecoming, what will soon be his high school, but let's not get ahead of ourselves; he's 12.

When I arrive, he and his buddy C are hiding in a tree. Not in the top of the tree, but inconspicuously around a tree. They see my car and come running from the confines of that tree into the middle of the darkened street towards me.

This is unusual, I think.

And then I drive C and his sister home. Boys silent in the back, girls chatting up front, a forthcoming driver's permit, a license, with which parent she'll learn, which parent will freak out. Things in the back seat are uncharacteristically silent.

C and his sister now home, I ask the inevitable: how was the night?

A snort follows another inquiry and suddenly we have tears. It sucked, he says between sniffles and I try to decide if it's best to stop the car address my baby's sudden and surprising emotional outburst.  I never want to go to a game again, he sobs.

Sucked? Really? What happened?

The girls, he said. They were just cornering us, chasing us, all night long. C, he ran. He just ran and ran and ran from them. So I ran too.  But every time we stopped, they caught us. They want to "go with us," he blurts out, damn of tears and emotion bursting free. C said no and kept running and I said no and finally I got so annoyed that I just said yes, and then I regretted it and said no, I made a mistake. And I apologized, said I just wanted to be friends. And now, it's this BIG.HUGE.MESS.

So is this why the frantic text to come fetch you?
And is this why the silence from the back seat?

And this is why, mom, we were hiding in the tree.

We were hiding in trees from girls.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011