...Well that was embarrassing. Sorry. Thanks to summer vacation, I've spent several days surrounded by teenage boys and it seems to be rubbing off on me. Look, I love my boys and their friends are welcome anytime. But for those of you out there who haven't had the pleasure of having a pack off teen boys in your house, allow me to explain it. Picture a bunch of hyper active rodeo clowns, punch drunk from being cooped up for 180 days, getting all whacked out on Mountain Dew, Doritos, and hormones set loose in your house. It's kind of like that. Right now it sounds like a circus is exploding in my basement. Hint, if you put the one computer than can run Fortnight downstairs, you can lure them into a semi contained area away from most of the breakable things. Wafting up from the steps you can be treated the the sound of auto tuned music, wrestling, bangs, laughs, rage quitting video games and the squeals of "REEEHHHHHHHHEEEEEE". Did you know that was a thing? I didn't. Imagine my surprise, but hey, after the 174th time in an hour you get used it. Or you lose hearing in that range, either way it works for me.
So after the fourth day of constantly running out of milk and replacing toilet paper rolls, right when you find a pile of dirty clothes shoved into a corner on top of the wet towels that smell like grandma's moldy, spooky, basement... you hit a wall. It's the point where you can either run screaming into the night, "Who eats 23 pop tarts and puts half of the 24th one on the stench-of-death dirty clothes pile?" Or you can take a deep breath and let it ride.
I hate running, so I went for settling in for the ride. After all the video games, smack talk, rap songs, late night glow in the dark football games and rounds of s'mores. I found myself able to sit back and watch. I swear to you, they remind me of puppies. Biting and tackling in a flurry of energy and limbs, and it hit me.
This is it.
These are the times they will talk about. These are their memories being made. And in a few short years the house will be silent as they go off into adulthood. It will happen too fast, like the days of Dora and diapers. It was a slog of snacks, chasing, no's, bed time stories and carrying them when they were too tired to move. Somehow that flipped into soccer, Minecraft, PlayStation and birthday parties. Now it's sports, friends, loud music, plans for driving, cars, girls, and a future where they stop being ours and become their own. It's a fast, insane, terrifying, beautiful process that you end up making up as you go along.
That lead to Quent and I thinking about how Wolfgang's unit must have been when they meet. Wolf, Chance, Fletcher, Cruiser and Dex were only a few years older then the hordes of boys at my house. It took us back to the forming of the team and how Wolf dealt with the guys when they were older than boys, but not the adults we know them as now.
It wasn't an easy process between both of our lives being filled with kids, work, school, houses, schedules, tournaments, recitals, field trips and other daily factors. Finding the time is a job in and of itself. Me falling down the stairs in a rush to check on the massively critical kitty litter and breaking my tailbone and giving myself a concussion that I'm still in cognitive and neuro therapy for, didn't help. ( Concussion, 0 out of 10, would not do again #myyelpreview).
That's only half the battle though. Truth is the whole process of trying to take our characters from boys to men (yup, I'm humming the song now too) is a frustrating, hard, exciting, gut wrenching, heartbreaking, joyous process. Right when we have our carefully researched, properly outlined scene ready to go, the characters burst in, shoving and pushing and scream, "Reehhheeee!" And take off into the basement, sending the story off into the weeds. We have no idea where it's going, but like parenting, if we make it through the ride, we can end up somewhere amazing. Hopefully that's where we can take the readers too.
Thanks for watching our boys grow!