I walked into my living room

…and noticed it smelled like boys. You know what I am talking about, you put five 13-year olds in a small space, and it just smells like boys. It also sounds like boys, and five make the noise of what seems to be 25 of them.

Most of the time, Kyle is quiet, self sufficient, entertaining, and reflective. He can be left alone for hours at a time and is perfectly happy to occupy himself. Well, except for tonight. We are celebrating his birthday, with friends, and it’s a sleepover. Kaylee’s been encouraged to head to a friends house…it will just make it easier…

We started at six, and an hour into it, after getting the pizza and feeding five hungry boys, I was wondering how I was going to get through it. By the second hour, I was hoping they’d expend some of their energy and volume outside, but then I did start to worry about the neighbors. By hour three, I was just hoping to make it through to morning…and then something changed.

I took my phone and my laptop into my room. The sound was not muffled much, but then again, the visual of the boys bounding around was diminished. I heard the pops of plastic bb guns being fired, hockey sticks being clacked together, and what sounded like arms, legs and elbows hitting the walls. And then I wondered, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s only a house, it’s only stuff. If something falls off the wall, we sweep it up and throw it away. If we end up with black smudges on the walls, we know how to paint. If it’s loud, when they are done it will be quiet, so what does that hurt anything.

I was so happy and proud of myself when I heard Kyle shhh’ing his friends, and then he stopped into my room asking if they were being too loud. I said it was fine, I’d let them know if I heard anything problematic. He looked at me and said “really?” The look of surprise and quite frankly joy, in his eyes was pretty special. After telling me I was awesome or some equally encouraging words, he said thank you…and I said no problem. I’ll be looking for you to quiet down around 1am, and again he said “really?”

Sometimes looking the other way can make all the difference in the world, and in this case, I think it really made Kyle’s night.

Enjoy your party, my awesome, amazing, responsible, and fantastic young man. At the moment I’m actually pretty happy that my living room smells like boys.