Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why is it that they come alive just as I need to go to bed?

I DO remember what it was like to be a teen. Admittedly, I can't say it was my favorite time.....but I do long for the endless energy, the stay-up-all-night and party like a rockstar mentality - and physicality - that I enjoyed way back then.

Now, even on my birthday (which for those of you who don't know, is on New Year's Eve) I rarely.....okay, NEVER stay up until midnight. My coach turns into a pumpkin by 10:30. If I don't get at least seven hours of sleep you can forget even trying to talk to me the next day; you will not get anything coherent if you try.

My children, however, come alive just as the clock strikes nine. That is, my teens do (my son is only 12, but he's been well on his way to displaying a full array of teen angst for some time). All evening they can mope around, exhibiting less enthusiasm than a cat for the veterinarian's office, seemingly uninterested and uninspired to say much or do anything. Maybe the Wii.....maybe Facebook....maybe read a little. But REALLY mom, just leave us alone to have our SPACE.

Then, as I tuck in the little one, with a story and a hug, the older ones become animated. I begin to hear peals of laughter and mad keyboard clicking. The inside jokes they share keep them bantering back and forth, their voices getting louder and louder, until the toad of a mother has to remind them to keep their voices down. Sure, mom. No problem. Good night! (translated: okay already. Can you just go to bed?)

And what about those sleep overs? A sleep over is, of course, a misnomer. No sleep happens. It's simply an excuse to stay up all night and goof off with friends. Totally understand that - I even used to do it. But, sheesh, for the life of me I can't remember HOW I used to do it.

Well, I guess I do understand the phenomenon. But right now, having been thoroughly worked over in kickboxing, I'm looking forward to reading for thirty minutes and then falling into the sleep of the dead. Meanwhile, my older kids are quoting their favorite novels at one another using voices I never knew they could mimic, mixing in things from Monty Python and the Terminator, while my son's tongue keeps flicking in and out like the Joker. They are just now ready to play, to explore and to create. I want some of that energy!!

The fun really starts, though, not at nine o'clock tonight, when I'm winding down and they're getting wound up, but at 7am tomorrow morning. I am up by 6 most days, 6:30 if I sleep 7am is rise and shine in our house. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Maybe I'll sing Reveille! Or better yet, play it on my cornet (that should thrill the neighbors ;)

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