He emerged from his room, adjusting his boxers and blinking in the early morning light.
"Youngest, " I said, brandishing the 18 page Verizon bill, "do you know that you had more than TWO THOUSAND text messages last month?"
He grinned sheepishly as he headed toward the garage/lgym/laundry/TV/storage room to pick up something clean to wear.
Since he had only just woken up, I let him go, but when he returned, fully dressed, I was still there, brandishing...
"Over TWO THOUSAND," I exclaimed on the off chance he hadn't heard me shriek the words earlier.
"Uh, he replied, "I can explain that. But, it's kinda personal so can you give me a couple minutes?"
He poured some pancake batter onto the griddle while I contemplated how my fourteen year-old son, who just minutes ago spent considerable amounts of time on my lap, could have become such a forthright and sensible young man without me noticing.
"Explain what?" asked Middle, as he emerged from his room, adjusting his boxers and blinking in the early morning light.
"Youngest had over 2000 text messages last month."
Middle smiled approvingly. "And it was a short month. That works out to...69 a day." As he disappeared into garage/gym/laundry/TV/storage room to pick out something clean to wear, I contemplated my seventeen year-old son's blistering computational speed and wondered if he could have been switched at birth, given that Mate and I still count on our fingers.
This detour into visions of swapped infants gave Youngest adequate time to collect his thoughts:
"You see...Well it was this thing between me and a girl friend..."
I missed the next few sentences because his voice was drowned out by the following flood of internal dialog: "WHAAT?!? Did he just say what I think he said? DId he mean "girl friend" as in a friend who is a girl or "girlfriend" as in my Youngest, my baby, my last, has a (tell me it isn't so!) girlfriend?"
I yanked my thoughts back to Youngest who seemed to be finishing up a thought:
"And there was this thing. And she didn't want to deal with it face-to-face. And so we had to text."
"Is it over?" I asked, "'cause you know we can't be having more than 2000 texts from you a month."
"Yeah, it's over."
What, exactly, is over I do not know but I decided to leave my Youngest to his pancakes and possible heartbreak.
And then I went and took $11.69 out of his account for the overages.