Friday, June 06, 2014

A Letter to Nate

This week, Nate and Will have been having a pretend camp experience at school, complete with tents and shirts that have been worn all week and are starting to smell. As part of that, we had to write the kids letters as if they were away at camp. The letter to Nate went a little like this...

June 3, 2014

Dear Nathan,
Oh, what sorrow we felt when you left us to attend Camp Learned-A-Lot. In our grief, we threw away all of our furniture, painted our house black, and dressed Eliza up in your clothes so we could pretend she was you. (This did not work well, just ask Eliza.)

We simply didn’t know what to do without you around. I had taken to going to the brown chair in the living room and shouting, “Nate, stop sitting on the arm of the chair,” despite the fact that you weren’t there… and the fact that the chair wasn’t there either because I had thrown it away with all the rest of our furniture. This behavior concerned your mom greatly and she advised I take up a hobby to occupy my spare time.

So now I’m happy to announce I’ve turned most of our (mostly empty) house into a dog kennel. A dog kennel is basically a hotel for dogs, except there’s no swimming pool and we don’t put tiny chocolate mints on the dog’s pillows at night. Also, you’re allowed to use the bathroom in the yard, which is generally forbidden at hotels that humans use. Staying with us right now, we have a Scottish terrier named Tiki, a boxer named Cha Cha, a poodle who answers to the name of Congressman Jonesboro, a collie named Briefcase, and another collie named Briefcase 2, Electric Boogaloo. We also have a sixth dog named Eric. We don’t know what kind of dog he is and we suspect he may be a man dressed in a dog costume. We’re not veterinarians, so we can’t tell for sure and we’d hate to kick him out because Eric is, by far, the best behaved animal in the kennel. So we’ve decided not to pursue the matter further.

Eliza misses you very much and she expresses it by saying things like, “I get to use the iPad all by myself” and “let’s watch another episode of ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.’” Sometimes Eliza will express her longing for her big brother by singing songs. One goes a little like this:

“I miss my brother Nate, I miss my brother Nate, I miss my brother Nate, where is my princess doll?”

Right about this part of the song, Briefcase 2 will start licking Eliza and she’ll run away screaming, “leave me alone, Briefcase 2!”

Needless to say, we are all anxious for you to return and to hear stories of camp and to discover what you’ve learned. We have missed having your sweet personality in our home and we love you very much.

With Much Love,


P.S. We will make sure we get rid of all the dogs before you come home, including Eric.

P.P. S. What is 133+465? I’m just wondering.

Unlike his brother, Nate instinctively got it when he read the letter. Nate's reply included an order to "GET RID OF THOSE DOGS AT ONCE" and the P.S. was the answer to the math problem, followed by his own mathematical question. 

A Letter To Will

It's the second-to-last day of school here in The Beav, and the kids are doing a special "Camp Learned-a-Lot" activity. Basically, they pretend they're at camp. There are tents in the classroom, and they all wear the same shirt. That sort of thing. As part of that activity, parents were supposed to write a letter to their kids as if they were at camp. Julie was too busy to write, so it was all up to me. And when it's all up to me, this is what happens...

June 3, 2014

Dear William,
It seems like just yesterday you were sitting in our living room, scattering Legos everywhere, and asking if you could use the iPad. Those were good times for us, and many happy memories remain.

But alas, you’ve run off to Camp Learned-A-Lot and it sounds as if you have been having a great time. While you’ve been gone, we’ve been occupying our time by making giant replicas of you and Nathan. We’ve constructed them out of rolled up newspapers and articles of clothing you didn’t pack off with you. Newspaper Nathan and William are not very good at eating their breakfast in the morning. Our table now has piles of uneaten eggs and honey toast that are starting to attract ants. However, Eliza likes the fact that Newspaper Nathan and William are good at sharing and always want to play princess and watch “Olivia.” So the experiment is not a complete failure.

In your absence, we have decided to rent your room out to a nice family from Latvia. There is a father named Edgars, and a mother named Inga. They have five children, three boys named Ivars, Juris, and little Edgars Jr, and girls named Rita and Scratchy. The rent they pay has made us rich beyond our wildest dreams, but there have been some considerable drawbacks.

First off, our new Latvian friends consume an enormous amount of grey peas and bacon. I’m told it’s Latvia’s national dish, but it looks quite disgusting and grey peas are almost impossible to find in Oregon. Also, they leave caraway cheese around the house. It’s this traditional yellow cheese with little seeds inside. It has a strong smell and I fear our whole house will smell like this cheese by the time you return. They’ve also taken to singing the Latvian national anthem during the early morning hours. While I’m sure their national anthem is a song they’re very proud of, I can assure you it’s not the sort of tune you want waking you up at 3 in the morning.

Needless to say, we miss you dearly and can’t wait for your return from camp. We’re interested to hear about the things you’ve been learning and hope you’ve been having good experiences there. We are proud to call you our son.

With Much Love,


P.S. Don’t forget to write.
P.P.S. Please take at least one shower while at camp.
P.P.P.S. Why is there air?

Will's reaction to this letter was... well... not all that positive, Both in writing, and in person, Will said the letter was "confusing" and handed it back to me, even when I said it was for him and he should keep it.

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