A mysterious dent appeared one day in the downstairs hallway of my home. At first, I thought the dent was my imagination. I stepped back, looked at it from the front and then from the side. Yes, definitely, there was some kind of indentation in the wall. It looked like a footprint almost, but that didn’t make sense because the dent was high up on the wall, about level with my head.
That night when the kids were hanging out in the living room, I asked casually, "Anyone know how that dent got into the hallway?"
"What dent?" Boy in Black asked. He and First Extra exchanged a smile. Shaggy Hair smirked. Okay, there was something they all knew. I suspected it had something to do with Monster, the hike-and-seek game they play in total darkness, because the house does sustain a certain amount of damage when you've got teenagers racing around blindly, but I couldn't figure what would cause a dent that high up.
"Okay, come on, I want the story," I demanded. By now, I was really curious. I could not think of any activity that would cause such a peculiar dent.
"Well, it's been there for weeks," said Boy in Back, "And you never noticed."
"I WANT TO KNOW!"
"Well .... I think you should have to guess,” said Boy in Black. I could tell from his face that he was going to draw this out as long as possible.
He and FirstExtra began acting out scenarios that could have caused the dent. All the other kids, who were clearly in on the secret, chimed in. CoolKid and I were the only two who did not seem to know the origin of the dent.
One scenario involved the game Alligators, a game in which the kids have to move around the house without ever touching the floor. Boy in Black claimed that Older Neighbor Boy was standing on a chair when he fell against the wall, his hard head making a dent. That story did not ring true. I suspected Boy in Black was remembering a story Spouse had told him about the time he was little and excited about brand new sneakers (PF Flyers!) and ran so fast that he put his head through the wall.
Another story, acted out dramatically, involved all the boys teasing Blonde Niece until she threw her lacrosse ball right at the wall as hard as she could. The teasing part of the story seemed highly believable, but the angle seemed wrong. Blonde Niece does bring her lacrosse stick and ball here when she comes on Friday, but none of the kids are the type to throw a ball inside the house. The third story they told, long and complicated, involving water damage, was not believable either.
By now, I was eaten up with curiosity. I hate not knowing stuff. FirstExtra said, "Okay, if you sit on the couch and close your eyes, I will tell you the story." Impatiently, I sat on the couch while he told yet another story that did not match the dent. Teenagers drive me crazy.
"TELL ME THE REAL STORY!" I screamed.
"Okay, open your eyes," Boy in Black called. I walked into the hallway, and there he was, up above my head, his entire long body scrunched up against the ceiling, his legs bracing against the opposite wall, his foot right in the dent.
“It was a wicked nasty hiding spot for Monster," he said, grinning. "Skater Boy kept walking right underneath and never dreamed I was up here."
Photo courtesy of Shaggy Hair Boy