Michael is my 17 year old step-son. I nicknamed him "sweet pea" when he was just a toddler because he was the most gentle, sweet, easy going kid you could ever hope to meet. Over the years his nick name was cut short and now I just call him "pea". He is coming over to spend another week with us for summer visitation. He is basically a really good kid, but we have had a tough year with him. It is true that once your kids get their driver's liscences you never see them at all anymore. They sort of drop in and out of your house at meal times and bed time. It has been tough on all of us as we adjust to his freedom and he adjusts to our rules. We never really had to worry about "house rules" before because he was always either with us or at school. But there is a certain freedom that comes with driving. I remember it well. A feeling of independence and of being in charge of your own schedule and how you spend your time. Then throw a girlfriend or boyfriend into the mix, a part time job into the mix, an after-school sport into the mix and HOCUS POCUS, your kid disappears. We have some fun plans for his visit. Hoping to get to the beach one day, cook out on the fourth and then the big boys will play golf one day. He's giving us attitude about coming over because he wanted to bring a friend and we said no. It's not because we don't like his friend or because we are opposed to him bringing someone over. It's just because we don't get to see him as much since we moved and we just wanted some family time to hang out together. Plus, having a friend = disappearing act. We'd never see them. And we miss him when he's not here. So, my little pea, you are stuck with us for the week. Get over it. We can't help it if we love you.