This past weekend I peaked into the future. I didn’t mean to; it just sort of happened. By some freak of nature, I was allowed to be the proverbial fly on the wall at what I can best describe as a slumber party of 12-year-old boys. While only two kids slept at my house, there were at least a dozen more of them coming and going — all on computer video chats. At one point I was afraid to move because I didn’t want to get caught. Thankfully, I was wearing my camouflage pajamas.
I’ve been through this sixth-grade thing before with my son’s two older brothers. The older two, however, would have never let me get this close to one of their private chat fests — and believe me I tried. My youngest is the smartest and he doesn’t care. He sees how worn down I am from the other two.
He knows I’m no threat. He’s throwing dad a bone.
As I quietly sat on the other side of the living room, I had a side view of the computer screen, my son and his friend. I could also see the other boys but they couldn’t see me. For what seemed like hours, screens of 12-year-old boys were popping in and out. Some bizarre prepubescent matrix had simultaneously connected sleepovers all across Connecticut and my kid was proud to be part of the gang.
Let me start by saying that I’ve talked to these kids many times before. What I heard that night didn’t sound like anything I had heard before. It was like they had their own language. Oh sure, I recognized some of the words — the dirty ones.