As some of you know, I'm traveling this holiday week. As part of my semi-annual pilgrimage to the Upper Midwest, I always visit the in-laws in Northeastern Wisconsin.
My SIL, like many of us, craves her Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's. The maxim "Early to bed, early to rise..." was tailor-made, just for her.
So, when my youngest acquired me at the airport Friday night and told me that I'd be responsible for taking a whole herd of her friends out to dinner, I called my SIL to tell her not to wait up. She said, "No problem." She and hubby planned to eat out with friends and probably would be back and in bed before I showed my pearly whites.
The kids and I frolicked at a hibachi grill place 'til about 9 or so. I dropped my chica back on campus and headed on down the road. About 20 minutes later, I pulled up at the house.
No lights, except on the porch. Pitch black. I assumed everyone was still out.
I let myself in (yeah, there are some folks around these parts who still leave their doors unlocked) and hollered, "Helloooooooooo..." My 15-year-old nephew ~ the only one apparently home except for the dogs ~ answered my call. Our convo went like this:
"Hey, Auntie Scribe. How was your trip?"
"No problems, no pat-downs. Are your folks still out?"
"I'll just wait for them here, then." I joined the lad on the couch for a game of "Mafia," or whatever he was killing that evening.
Well, 9:30 turned into 10, and 10 morphed into 10:30. Before I knew it, Nephew was sacked out on the couch, catching a few winks, video controller firmly clenched in his right hand. I dialed my SIL's cellie. Only voicemail picked up.
Around about 11:15-ish, I made the executive decision to pack it in and head upstairs. As I crested the top step, however, I heard the droning of a TV down the hall.
"Kids," I muttered to myself, thinking that Nephew had left the tube on.
I went into the room at the far end of the hall. A lump stirred under the covers. SIL sat up.
"Oh, hey," she said. "You sure were out late."
"I've been waiting for y'all downstairs for about two hours," said I. "I thought you were still out on the town."
She turned and squinted at the clock.
"What are you talking about?" SIL queried. "We haven't seen this side of 11 p.m. in 20 years!"
And I've never met a high school freshman who could see beyond the here and the now.