I'm in my bedroom trying to read and having a bit of a hard time due to noise and chaos in the house. I don't mind because it's a bunch of 11-13 yr old boys embattled in a nerf war. They run up and down stairs and the doors rattle and a bunch of vocal nonsense is spouted out here and there. Every once in a while I catch something meaningful like "neutral zone" and all of it makes my heart swell with joy and grants my soul this kind of hard-won contentment. I'm hungry and thought I might run an errand or two but all those plans are canceled. I can't do it. Reasons:
a) I'm scared for my life
b) I always fall into lame mom mode and engage by saying something like,
"What's going on, guys? Having a nerf war, huh?" which sends them into an awkward stupor and kills the vibe.
c) These moments are rare and I really don't want to break the spell. This is a battle I don't want to disrupt.
Listening to their game rules, made up on the spot, their little bickering and sorting things out is beautiful music to my ears. ["I'm doing government work in the neutral zone."] I like to listen to who's the Frustrated Fighter, the Smoother-Over, the Chill Can't Bother to Care-r, the Happy No Matter What-er, the General and Organizer. I love it all. So I hole up and write and read and snuggle my cat and at least I have water and access to a toilet so really I'm fine. ["I was warranting your arrest!" "Under what authority?!" el oh el oh el] Do I wish I could join them? Kinda. Is there much more to life than nerf wars and Star Trek references? None that I can think of. ["Hey, Julian, did you know you have T-Rex arms?" "HEY!"] But I lived through my 13 which was a pivotal year for me. And I love watching this kid, on the cusp of his, in the small magical moments of random late summer afternoons. So I'll just sit back, sit in it, and soak it in, on his behalf and my own.