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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"
Dear Son
by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal

Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Dear Son,

Daddy and I hope that you had a great trip and arrived at camp safely. We are missing you already! Thanks for doing the lawn before you left, it was a great help. Using Round-Up © to slow down the growth was certainly an interesting idea, and we guess that you were thinking Daddy wouldnít have to mow again until you got back, but we kind of miss having a green lawn. Just for your future reference, Round-Up © actually kills plants.

Dear Son,

Hope that this finds you well and happy and that the mosquitos are not too bad. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to organize your room a little while you were gone and get rid of some old things. Hope you donít mind. I must say that it was quite a job! Daddy is very glad to know where his socket wrenches, drill bits, awl, ball-peen hammer, soldering iron and utility knife are. He thought they were lost. I was glad to find 14 glasses which I thought were broken or permanently missing. Just an FYI, when you leave wet organic things out for a long time they mold. This holds true for an inch of tea in the bottom of a glass as well as for wet clothing and towels. When things mold they release spores which float into the air and can be both smelled and inhaled. Breathing too many mold spores will make your brain dissolve and you will die. Something to keep in mind. And son, if there is ever anything you want to talk about, or have questions about, you know that your Dad and I are always here for you.

Dear Son,

Well, the work on your room continues and it has been quite an education! I now understand why you never put your laundry away in your dresser, but I am at a loss to understand why you removed all the bottoms from your dresser drawers. Your Dad and I have always been proud of how smart you are, and we figure you must have had a reason and we are very interested to hear it. Daddy says if you will tell him where you put them he might be able to fix the dresser. In the future it is probably a good idea to check with either Dad or me before starting a project.

Dear Son,

Am feeling a little tired this evening after a busy day. Decided to tackle your closet today and whew! What a chore! Now, I donít want you to take this as a criticism, but I found a large hole gouged into the plaster at the back of your closet. At first I was a little upset, but then I thought maybe you were trying to make yourself a secret place to keep treasures and important things. Dad noticed the ashes and wants you to know that if you thought you were making a fireplace you would have killed us all and destroyed everything we own. I am sure you were not trying to make a fireplace, but if you were, forget it. Fireplaces are not just holes in walls. We will talk about it when you get back.

Dear Son,

The reason we donít use my wedding china very often is because it is special, expensive and very, very precious to me. If you wanted a chemistry set, or containers for odd bits of wire and string and nails, or something to keep bugs in you should have told me. Thatís what plastic is for. If you thought the forget-me-nots painted on my china made it too girly for your masculine tastes you should have STOPPED and found something else to use rather than trying to singe it all off with the acetylene torch. Mommy is pretty angry right now and I am glad that you have another week at camp for me to settle down a little.


Dear Son,

Camp will be over soon and the new school year is not too far off. I bet you will be very excited to learn that Daddy and I have enrolled you in a brand new school for the criminally insane. Ha ha! Mommy is just joking, son. But it is a school for special boys who are interested in all kinds of things. And you know, when I say "special boys" I mean smart, energetic boys who just need a little more structure in their lives. Dad and I will miss you, but we are confident that you will be a great success. Have decided to gut your old room, have it professionally decontaminated, and then make it into a study for Dad. Love you dearly, Mom.
© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" - July 1, 2005 Column
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