So the joke of the day was, “How will the kid and his 2 best buddies react when they see each other after being apart for 6 months?” We knew they wouldn’t hug each other because the last time they met up in Memphis they only gave each other the biggest grins and a simple fist bump. But today, oh today was different.
The kid tries to act as though nothing bothers him and his emotions are kept pretty secure under lock and key. When we moved from TN to SC almost 4 years ago he was only 10 and was entering middle school that fall. He had been friends with one of the guys since 1st grade and the other joined the partnership around 3rd grade. They’ve been inseparable ever since. I tried to make sure that he knew he had technology at his fingertips which would allow him to keep in touch with them despite the 535 between their homes. So Playstation3 online became their daily mechanism for catching up. They’d play for hours on end online while chatting on their cell phones on 3 way. They kept up with who was dating who and what sports they are trying to master, and of course how to just be a boy and still be cool.
The kid has enjoyed “not being from here” when he meets new people. There’s something about being the new kid on the block or in the school that makes others want to know more about you. It’s intriguing. So he ate that attention up like a starving road lizard on crack. His ego grew. His popularity grew. And occasionally I had to bring him down to earth and let him know he still had to take out the trash (all of it) and wash the dishes (all of them). LOL
Fast forward to 2011. These 3 amigos have matured into handsome, intelligent young men. All 3 of them are great students (when they want to be) and have the potential to do great things (if they choose to do so). But they are still boys.
We met the crew at an outlet mall 1/2 way between here and Atlanta. It was only a 90 minute ride and I could sense the anxiety because the entire time he had his earphones in and was texting every 30 minutes back and forth to see where they were. We arrived about 45 minutes before they did which gave us time to do a bit of shopping. Finally the call came. They were in the shopping center. They were in the parking lot. They were in the Ralph Lauren outlet store. So we went to the RL store too.
As soon as we entered the store we ran into one of the parents, who was headed back to ATL for the week for her family reunion. She greeted us and introduced her cousin. Then she did the unthinkable. She started asking the kid questions about how he was doing, etc. All the while he’s looking around like a crackhead who had just stolen a pack of PalMal cigarettes – checking every corner to see who he could spot. Suddenly, he couldn’t take it any more. He spotted his buddies and before I knew it……..
HE TOOK OFF RUNNING. PICTURE CELIE AND NETTIE IN THE FIELD OF FLOWERS.
“Me and you must never part.”
I died laughing! Now they are upstairs hooking up the video games to two televisions so that they can begin their ritual of video games and conversations until they drop around 4am. LOL
Boys will be boys but they still know how to love.