Riding in Cars with Boys
I think some of you know that I am the carpool mom extraordinaire. Not because I’m a great driver, just because I’m super tolerant of teenage boyness.
In the afternoon, I pick up my son, Killian, and his friends Justin and Mitchell from school. They’re tall and gangly with long hair and loud voices. They laugh too loudly and have wicked senses of humor. They’re jaw-droppingly wise and ridiculously stupid all at the same time. In short, they’re teenage boys, and I adore them.
A week or so ago, they were talking about annoying preppy girls.
Me: So what makes them annoying?
Justin: Seriously. Have you ever heard one talk?
Me: Not recently…no. What’s the prob.
Killian: Everything’s a question.
Me: What do you mean?
Justin: It’s the upward inflection at the end of every single freaking sentence.
Mitchell: What’s an upward inflection?
Killian: You know, the last word in every sentence goes up like they’re asking questions even when they aren’t.
Justin: (speaking in a high girly voice) I’m gonna go to my locker. It’s lunchtime.
Killian: (also using a falsetto voice) I have gym class now. My name’s Brittany.
Mitchell: Can I copy your homework?
Killian and Justin: That is a question, Mitchell.
Me: (muffled laughter)
Justin: It’s just so annoying.
Mitchell: Huh…I just thought they were all really dumb.
Then there was today’s conversation.
Mitchell: There’s something wrong with a bunch of the dudes in my gym class.
Mitchell: Yeah. They run around the locker room all naked and stuff.
Me: Well, it is a locker room. I assume they’re either changing or showering.
Mitchell: Well, yeah. But it’s just not right, man. I mean, I shouldn’t hafta see another dude’s junk. It’s not right at all.
Me: Maybe they’re just comfortable with their bodies.
Mitchell: Maybe they’re just freaks.
Justin: Maybe they’re nudists.
Mitchell: Maybe, but they gotta keep their junk at home then. Duuuude…what would happen if you went to your friend’s house and they were all naked?
All three boys: collective groan
Justin: I wouldn’t sit down, that’s for sure.
Killian: Unless there was plastic on the furniture…maybe then.
Justin: Yeah. Plastic. Lots of plastic. Everything else is lava!
Then totally out of the blue, Mitchell who happened to be sitting in the front seat, turned to me and said, “So, my friend came out to me today.”
Me: Came out-came out?
Mitchell: Yeah. He said he was gay.
Me: What did you say?
Mitchell: I said, I did not expect that, but that’s cool.
Me: I think that’s great. A lot of guys wouldn’t have been very comfortable hearing that from a friend.
Justin: Was it in gym class?
Killian, Mitchell and me: Shut up, Justin.
Mitchell: No in the hallway. Some asshole was picking on him and calling him gay, and he said, I am.
Me: (fearing the worst) What did the other guy say?
Mitchell: He looked surprised for a minute and said. Really? Oh…okay. I guess I won’t pick on you then. You have enough to deal with. And then he just walked away.
I couldn’t have been more shocked. I know sometimes teenagers are a pain in the ass, but they’re all finding their way in the world. I have to say, they’re doing a great job. If a boy had come out like that when I was in high school, he would have likely gotten the crap kicked out of him and he’d have been run out of the school. I love progress and I love these boys. These are the ones I get to spend time with, and I couldn’t be happier. Being the carpool mom sucks because I really do hate to drive, but days like today make it all worthwhile.