So there I was, hanging out with a bunch of fellow parents, as their 13- and 14-year-old boys were cruising around a hotel, causing a little trouble.
None of them were mine, so I didn't have much to worry about. I was visiting my nephew and brother-in-law at a baseball tournament. Spirits were high since their team had done very well to get into the competition. Plus, they were hanging out at a hotel with a pool.
My son is only 19-months old, so I have a different set of worries in the "boy behavior" department. Stuff like: Is he ever going to eat anything that has protein in it? And: Will he and his older sister have a positive relationship?
But observing these kids provided me a window into the world of the young male teen, or at least part of it. There weren't too many young women their age around, so I didn't get the full range of behavior, but I think I now have a better picture of what's ahead of me.
There was a lot of racing through the hallways and the parking lot, and an occasional gang-up on somebody, but for the most part, the kids all seemed to get along just fine. Like many parents, I worry about the potential for bullying (which I didn't see during this trip). My wife and I hope some well-taught self-confidence will keep that at bay.
So I wondered, What kind of trouble will my boy cause?
If he gets into the kinds of messes I got into, he'll probably (for the most part) be okay. I was generally well-behaved in my younger years -- at least, that's what my Mom told me -- but I really don't know how big a part genetics plays in the behavior department.
My son is certainly more aggressive than my 4-year-old daughter, but that's generally considered a bit of a given, considering gender.
I figure if the behavior of those boys in the hotel is any indication, things should be fine. It was just testosterone making a typical appearance. As mentioned, it was mostly just a whole lot of running around. I also heard a group of them got kicked out of the hotel's pool at one point, but that's no big deal, as long as there wasn't an ambulance involved.
Then again, only the teens know everything that went on in that building. As my brother-in-law put it, "What happened in that Residence Inn, stays in that Residence Inn."
Are you worried about the trouble your kids might get into?