Friday, December 3, 2010

I have to start somewhere... I'll start in the middle

Three teenage girls (including mine) are up in my daughter's room, the remnants of her 16th birthday party. I cleaned up the "things" last night: the milk glasses, cake plates, broken plastic forks, spilled drinks, thrown throw pillows. One girl left before I got up this morning. She is an Army recruit and had PT classes today.

I hope she didn't have a cake hang over.

She wants to be the best that she can be before her official enlistment date (is that what it's called?) in July.

My daughter is actually "at her dad's" this week, but he was gracious enough to let her and her friends come here to play last night, all night. Well, the boys left at midnight, though this group has been trying to talk me into a co-ed sleepover for a while. (Not going to happen. I'm easygoing but not stupid.)

The kids would have made my girl's dad insane, and he knew it.

Smart man.

One boy brought his Wii console (no game consoles in my house; my girl won't let me get her one. "It's too expensive. You'd never use it. At least Dad likes to play video games.") and a chocolate cake that he baked himself.

There was so much screaming coming from the basement rec room last night that my neighbors are probably composing a petition to get me punted from this terrible, little house and out of the neighborhood.

The three remaining girls are awake finally. Hungry for breakfast or maybe lunch.

I'm probably too old to host so many sleepovers with creatures who don't sleep, but I love them all. I love their changing bodies, insecurities, mean comments to each other, cracking voices (the boys), piercing screeches (the girls), the way they all tumble onto one futon and crush the friend on the bottom, the inappropriate conversations, excessive use of the word "fuck," how they shift gears so quickly and wrestle each other's problems during quiet moments then spring back up into goofiness without warning.

My daughter is laughing and almost screaming again. Her friends must be messing with the old toys in her bedroom. I love how their energy seeps into my walls. It will pulse with this energy for days now.

I know a lot of people dislike teenagers. I adore them and feel lucky that I can offer them a place just to be where they don't feel smothered (though now and then, they do talk to me, just to talk, just because it's a novel idea to them to have conversations with "old" people).

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