Twelve is what is cunningly known as "tween" or pre-adolescent, Or not so pre. I'm the one who thought the kid had a sore throat, and no wonder he gave me a fishy stare. That voice-changing business can take a mom by surprise. But I'm so busy being taken by surprise all the time that I'm in almost as complete a state of flux as my pre-and nearly-post adolescent kids.
"Mom," asks the twelve year old, a paper airplane in one hand and a lighter in the other, "Can I light this and throw it? Please?"
"Why not? Why not?"
This is the most exhausting part, when you're explaining why not and then caving to some compromise, "Yes . . . outside, in the yard, where the grass is still wet, and only if you make sure that you know where it's landed and put it out."
So he starts to open the glass door to the back patio.
"And not in your socks!" I yell. "Don't dream of going outside without shoes AND A COAT!"
"Ah, I'm not going." That was the last straw . . . he really hates to put on his coat. The one he picked. The one we bought him on a frozen Bavarian morning when he'd lost his other coat. The one that looks great on him, and is warm, and cost a bundle. That coat.
The one I insist he wear when the temperature dips to 8 or 9 Celsius (that's about 46-48 Fº). And when he didn't, I removed his computer.
I hate taking away his computer. Someday, when he's forty, I should live so long, I hope he's glad that I made him wear his coat.
P.S. And now back to my novel. Almost at 30,000 words, though the plot is getting a bit less plausible.