I was working on a post for my on-line class when I heard someone pounding on the backdoor. I ran through the apartment to open it, and my 11 year old plowed in. “Hi Mom! We’re home!” He threw his backpack on the floor and started prying off his boots.
Just then, the front door was assaulted. BANG! BANG! BANG! Back I ran, through the apartment, and flung open the door for the 9 year old. “Hi Mom!”
They were returning from a three-day trip to Toronto with another family, Dad and an exchange student. I had stayed home because I had both work and classwork. Once I corralled both children into the same room, I asked, “How was the trip?”
They had a lot to say, interrupting each other, talking so fast I could hardly keep up:
It was trash. The back of the car was SO HOT. And completely crowded. And on the way down, the windshield squirter broke and it took forever to fix. And they wouldn’t turn on the air conditioning even though we said we were hot.
It is February in Canada. Their Southern mother cannot imagine wanting air conditioning. I was with the adults on this one.
“But, how was Toronto?” I probed. “Tell me about the vacation part.”
P has a girlfriend. Her name is Emma. She likes the same things we like. Well, I mean, some of them. Like the same shows. We got to talk to her. She’s nice. And he met her on Tinder. And he was like, It’s the last thing I expected, meeting someone here. And we were like, we knew you’d have a girlfriend. But she’s really nice. And she doesn’t even go to his school.
“Whoa! Wait. What? Was she with you in Toronto?”
No, we Skyped with her every night. He talks to her a lot. Oh! And someone got shot. There was a fight. It was right outside our hotel. And then the guy who got shot came into the lobby. But we were asleep. And they took him to the hospital. And there were LOADS of people in the lobby.
I closed my eyes for a minute and took a deep breath. “So, did you actually do anything in Toronto?”
Oh. Yeah. We went to the aquarium.
I looked from one to the other, waiting.
Finally the older one piped up, “Oh yeah, Mom, how was your weekend?”
“Calm,” I said, “Very calm.”