Michael's in the last few days of summer before he starts High School. This is weird to write, the kid that was running around the house in a stinky diaper just a few posts ago is now going to High School.
He's had a decent summer: lots of free time, summer school at his new place of learning (which happens to be conveniently located only a few paces from our home), camp, a concert and a couple of beach trips.
He still insists upon lengthy and ceremonial good-byes for each parent, rising at 5:15 AM to say goodbye to his mom on days she goes to work (breaking the solemn teenager code of sleeping until noon unless pried out of bed by force), and plying me with hugs and well wishes on my way out the door. Seriously - neither one of us can leave the premises without first completing the appropriate goodbye obeisance to he who keeps the door.
This morning was no exception.
It was his parting words, though, that made me laugh.
I asked him to try not to burn the house down, as he'd be alone for the day doing Lord knows what all (eating ice cream from the carton, bingeing Stranger Things, locking the cats in the bathroom, microwaving eggs in the shell, etc.).
He responded with "Okay, dad - I promise to not try to burn the house down." He paused and grinned.
He knew that I knew what he'd done: subtly twisted the words around to give him an out, in case he does burn the house down.
He probably already worked his response for later while we stood over the smouldering ruins: "Well dad, see, I didn't promise to try not to burn the house down, I promised to not try to burn the house down!"
He should do just fine in High School. Just let the teachers try to get anything past him.