When my boys all hit a certain age, they seemed to disappear into the basement and only surfaced rarely for air or light or food. I could never figure out how they could spend so much time in the dark, in one room. No matter how many activities they may have going on, how could they do without sunlight? I can't stand being indoors for more than an hour at a time. I've never been able to understand it. And I was never able to coax them out of the dungeon for long.
But today I read a line in a book called Dropped Threads, edited by Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson, that gave me insight: "When boys hit adolescence, mothers are expected to back off, because we need to let boys turn into men---a mysterious process, which, like bread rising, must happen undisturbed, in a dark warm place." That's it! They weren't avoiding sunlight or shirking their chores; they were rising until double in bulk!