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...
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.
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.