It was another hot humid morning. I had just finished cleaning the kitchen when Boy in Black came down the stairs. He stopped on his way to the refrigerator.
"Hey," he said, "You cleaned the kitchen. Even the pots and pans."
He looked around the room, taking in the clean, empty counters. "Thanks, Mom."
I thought for a minute I had stepped into some other reality. My seventeen-year-old son was not only noticing the clean kitchen but THANKING me for cleaning it?
Surely, there was some explanation for this. Perhaps all my complaints about how the kids take me for granted had finally sunk in. Maybe my whining had paid off! Perhaps he was suddenly going to start appreciating his mother.
Or maybe aliens had sneaked in during the night and switched my son with some kind of imposter.
I was leaning towards the alien kidnapping theory when it occurred to me to look at the kitchen table, where my husband leaves a list of chores for the kids each morning before he leaves for work. And there I found the explanation for Boy in Black's gratitude. I had just done his chore.