My eldest spent last week at swim camp with four of his buddies. I had the pleasure of taking the neo-testosterone laden crew up to my family’s cottage for a day beforehand as it was near where the camp was located. The six of us packed in the truck and headed north. Much as you would expect with teenage boys, they broke into the food before we had driven past the edge of our small village. The eating continued pretty much non-stop for the next 3 hours, as did the buffoonery. There was the usual mix of friendly jibes and barbs, peppered with idle chatter.

Several of the boys have girlfriends now which is a source of mystery as well as a lightening rod for being teased. I overheard one boy saying how his girlfriend had a look that when used caused him to be unable to say “no”. He was asking if any of the other guys had ever seen anything like that. I took the opportunity to offer the observation that if they hadn’t, they would. All women have this look. It’s genetic. Some wield it for fun, others for profit. The trick is to run from the latter, as you’re pretty much powerless against it. Get used to it.

Then at other times, the boys regressed more into child-like behavior. Going through one village, they put all the windows down and were hanging their heads out like a rolling kennel full of dogs. Following that, they took to waving at people on the street or in cars, and would giggle when they got someone to wave back. As a parent, it was nice to see the balance.

On a whole, they were a very polite, courteous, and well mannered bunch. A credit to their parents, all. I was happy to have them in my charge for a week. It’s good to know that my son has good taste in friends.

I picked them up at the end of the camp, and they were a bit more subdued for the return trip. They went to enhance their swimming, but the highlights being relived in the truck seemed to have more to do with ping-pong, foosball, and the all-you-can-eat buffet at mealtime. Boys will be boys in any generation. However, one of them was in desperate need of a shave when I picked them up. Which served to remind me, boys won’t be boys for too very much longer.

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