The boy’s cousins go to church with our cute neighbor boy, and they decided to have a Rock-a-Thon this past Friday night. They recruited the boy to join them. The boy, in turn, recruited his good buddy, Enzo.
A Rock-a-Thon is kind of like a Dance-Off, only the six boys assured me that it is absolutely nothing like a Dance-Off, because of NO DANCING. The six of them wanted to be clear on that point, because this pack is obviously made up of six NON-DANCERS. They were, in fact, dismayed and completely disappointed in me for even suggesting that rocking had any resemblance to dancing.
The boys decided to raise money for some missionaries by collecting pledges for every hour that they spent rocking in a rocking chair. Their goal was to begin rocking at 7:00 PM on Friday night and not quit until 7:00 AM on Saturday. They all stated that they were Army-Tough, and they could pull this off easier than most grown men can pull of Boot Camp, and they emphatically declared that NONE OF THEM WERE GOING TO FALL ASLEEP!
They brought supplies in to the church for the Rock-a-Thon.
Rocking chairs. Pizzas. Sodas. Twizzlers. Jelly beans. Candy. Candy. Candy. Books. Headphones and iPods. Movies. An X-Box. A Wii. Video games. Video games. Video games.
The Rock-a-Thon promised to be the stuff that a 4th grade boy’s dreams are made of!
Bill (who is Brother’s Wife’s dad) signed up to stay with the boys all night and to make sure no one’s rocking chair quit moving. He was also the chef, and cooked their pizzas in the church’s kitchen. He passed out sodas, he led them in a Bible study, he declared one movie inappropriate, and he kept everyone in line.
The line-up of characters included The Boy (age 10), who was thrilled to see a church refrigerator stocked with nothing but sugar and pizzas, and who purposed in his heart that he would still be awake at 7:00 AM, no matter what. Hubs and I were unsure of his bold statement, and we began taking bets as to what time the boy would tip over and start snoring.
The boy’s cousin, W (age 11), who assured me that Falling Asleep simply wasn’t a term he was familiar with. Hubs and I were pretty sure he could back that statement up, too. Our money was on him being a Rock-a-Thon Success.
The Cute Neighbor Boy (age 11), who is a natural night owl. He was the one Hubs and I knew for certain would be successful. The Cute Neighbor Boy doesn’t really like to sleep when it’s dark outside. As far as he’s considered, every person should go to bed sometime around 3:00 AM and get up at 1:00 PM.
The boy’s cousin, B (age 10). B was the team’s Loose Canon. The odds of him falling asleep were slightly higher than the odds of him staying awake all night, and Hubs and I couldn’t place a bet on him. Although he assured us that he’d still be awake AND smiling at 7:00 AM, we didn’t know whether we could trust his statement to be One of Fact.
The boy’s cousin, M (age 7). M was pre-judged before he even started the Rock-a-Thon, because, much like his adorable aunt (and that would be me!), M thinks that 8:00 is a FANTASTIC bedtime. M thinks that the entire world should head to bed at 8:00 each evening. No one put any money on M staying awake. He’s cute. He’s sweet. He’s lovable. But we all knew that M was going down! Instead of betting on whether he’d fall asleep or not, Hubs and I took bets as to WHAT TIME he’d fall asleep. My bet was rather GENEROUSLY on 10:30.
The boy’s buddy, Enzo (age 9) (AND A HALF!). Enzo told us to put all of our gold coins on him to win. He insisted that staying awake all night was not even a challenge, and that we should give him something HARDER to do!
This was the gang at 7:00 on Friday night. The enthusiasm was so high, it snapped and crackled like fireworks. They were beyond excited. They had all been looking forward to this night every bit as much as they had looked forward to Christmas.
(And I’d like to go on record and state that the Cute Neighbor Boy is the only REAL PERSON OUTSIDE OF TELEVISION COMMERCIALS that we know who actually owns a Snuggie, because, somehow, an over-sized blanket with arm holes just seems like fourteen kinds of FASHIONABLE WRONG.)
Of course, there were Big Cousin Squeezes, too, because the excitement in the air was so overwhelming, they had to hug! And wrestle! And fake-punch one another! Because they are boys!
At 7:00 on Friday night, the Rock-a-Thon officially kicked off and the video games officially got started.
(And doesn’t every great photographer take snapshots of poles that completely block kids from view?!)
Yes! Yes! Yes! Enzo wanted Twizzlers for an appetizer!
About ten minutes after the Twizzlers were liberally passed around to the boys, Hubs and I went home. We wished Bill well. We hoped that the Force would be with him. We told the boys not to torment him horribly if he was the one who fell asleep. And then we went home, because we had NOT signed up to chaperon an all-night Rock-a-Thon. Hubs and I will save our chaperoning days for the boy’s junior high dances!
As luck would have it, Bill had his camera at the church, too, so he took lots of snapshots after Hubs and I went home. To bed! Because we could! So I can take absolutely no credit for these next photos, because they were taken by Bill while I was SLEEPING!
Bill eventually had the boys set the video games aside, along with the movie Old Yeller (probably because all the boys were hiding their tears from one another when that one ended), and he led them through a Bible study.
And B is living proof that sometimes it’s very difficult to keep your eyeballs open wide when you’re doing a Bible study in the middle of the night. He has a string of alibis who insist that he was MERELY RESTING in this photo, and that he was HONESTLY NOT SLEEPING. I guess most any judge would believe an entire string of witnesses over what the snapshot SEEMS TO SAY.
And then, remember how the Rock-a-Thon was from 7 PM to 7 AM? Well, guess which little honey made it until SIX-STINKING-THIRTY?! Oh, yes! At 6:30, B tipped over and that was all she wrote.
The boy, along with Enzo and W and the Cute Neighbor Boy, stayed awake all night! B took a thirty-minute cat nap. M was the one who blew our socks off by staying up as long as he did, and he only slept for two hours.
And they all raised some money for missionaries!
On Saturday morning, Hubs and I joined Bill and the boys at the church for a GIANT breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. When Bill called the boys to breakfast at 7:30, he said, “Is anyone hungry?” W’s immediate response was, “I’m starving for anything EXCEPT sugar!”
(W went on to confess that yes! Yes, he had slurped down four sodas throughout the course of the night, at 38 grams of sugar per soda! And he seemed quite proud of himself, as he declared, “My mom would never have let me drink that much pop at home, but I needed it to keep going!”)
We were home, AND THE BOY TOTALLY HAD A SECOND WIND! He was up, and he was awake, and he was busy!
And then at noon, I made him crawl into bed for a bit. He kept insisting that no! No, he was NOT tired at all! And no! Being cranky was NOT a Tired Indicator! So I told that cute boy of ours, some THIRTY HOURS after he’d last been asleep, “You stay in your bed for fifteen minutes. If you’re still awake in fifteen minutes, you can get back up and I’ll let you win the Not Tired Argument.”
The boy insisted that this was a golden moment, and he yelled out as I left his bedroom, “You’ll see me in fifteen minutes! I’m NOT TIRED!”
People, TWO WHOLE MINUTES LATER, I walked back into the boy’s bedroom, and this here is what I found: