Today’s letter is the first one I ever sent to my kid at summer camp.
Although technically, it wasn’t camp. But it was pretty much the same thing: the first time he ever went a way for an extended trip, when he spent two weeks at his grandmother’s apartment in Paris.
(I know! Nice, right? Too bad it’s only a 300-square foot studio, and she’s not willing to put up anyone bigger than a 10-year-old…which was my kid’s age when I sent this to him.)
Subject: Re: Paris
Date: July 1, 2010 6:59:13 AM EDT
Xxxx [again, not his real name]:
Thank you so much for the update! It is very good to get emails from you. I was also relieved to hear that you fixed the problem with the flip video.
Now I have a problem that I am hoping you can help me with. Since you’ve been gone, no one has left their underwear on the bathroom floor. You might not think this seems like much of a problem, and when you left for Paris, neither did I.
But to my surprise, I have discovered that if I don’t have to remove dirty underwear from the bathroom floor every evening, my life feels strangely empty and lacking in purpose. I have tried to leave my own underwear on the bathroom floor and then remove it later, but it’s just not the same.
I spent most of last night lying awake in bed trying solve this problem, and I have come up with two potential solutions.
First, would it be all right with you if I took some underwear from your bedroom and left it on the bathroom floor for a while before picking it up and taking it to the laundry room? Before you answer, consider the fact that — and I am not certain of this, but I strongly suspect it — for my life to feel truly purpose-driven, the underwear must be dirty. Which means I will have to make one of your brothers wear it around for a while beforehand (I would wear it, but I am too big; and I would ask your mother, but she is too picky about her underthings). I assume you would prefer that Zzzz wears the underwear and not Yyyy.
If you do not approve of this, there is a second option. I believe that if I take the phone into the bathroom at the usual hour of 8pm, call you, and yell at you to come pick up your underwear, my life might feel just as meaningful as if you and your dirty underwear were actually present. Given the time difference, I’d be calling at 2am Paris time. Would this be all right?
I realize it is something of an imposition to call you in the middle of the night, but to make it worth your time, while we’re on the phone I could also yell other things — not just the obvious “Xxxx, will you PLEASE hang up your towel?” but also things like “Get your shoes on!”, “Seriously, you HAVE to get off the computer now!”, “Stop touching Zzzz!”, and “Are you listening to me?! What did I just say?”
Thanks in advance for helping me with this. You are a good son.
I hope you’re having a great time! Has Grandma taken you to see the view of Paris from the steps of the Sacre-Coeur yet? I know I can’t pronounce that name, but I believe I spelled it correctly.
Tragically, this may be the end of the series — at least until my kid gets to camp next week and I start sending him letters again — because while I have more of them, the quality tails off pretty dramatically after this.
But you can always re-read the first two! They’re here:
And if you’re hungry for quality reading material, there’s always The Chronicles of Egg series! Which you can purchase by clicking one of the links under “Get the Books!” on the right-hand menu. Or, for more information, click on the “About The Chronicles of Egg” link on the top menu.
Or just email me and ask for a free copy. I probably won’t send you one, but you never know.