The words my son used to describe his disappointment were these: "I just wanted some 'me' time." I listened to that, and tried to take it in. He was feeling the crush of a weekend that had moved on without him. Well, to be fair, he had been there. He had been asleep. His Saturday morning went without notice. I heard his feet hit the floor for the first time just after noon. That meant that he had just a few hours before his grandmother would be there to pick him up to spend the rest of the day together. He wasn't, as the kids say, feeling it.
What he was feeling was the way that two days can suddenly become parts of one day, which are merely the hours and minutes that are left to all of us to do those things that don't qualify as "structured time." Video games, Facebook, and assorted screens that are not burdened with information that will appear on this week's quiz are the goal. Grandma's house wasn't going to offer much of that, even if he managed to complete his homework. The burden of "must do" fell squarely on his shoulders and he showed me a face that I recognized from my own teen age.
I wanted to tell him that "me time" was something he had to guard, and that sleeping until noon was exactly that kind of time, but in the most passive way possible. I wanted to tell him that I envied his ability to remain in bed for half a day. I wanted to commiserate with him more, but I could feel the clock ticking just over our collective shoulder. His grandmother was going to be there soon to take him on a bike ride. And make him dinner. And play Rummy-Cube. That would be Grandma Time. I was having Parent Time with him. Talking with him wasn't going to make him feel better.
He left the house under a gray cloud, and my wife and I worried that he might be stuck there. Happily, we got a call later that evening telling us that the fresh air and exercise had lightened his load, and he was sharing one of his favorite on-line games with his grandmother. Bed time was coming a little earlier than it had the night before, and he was okay with that. His vision of Sunday was full of "me."