LETTERS TO A TEENAGER

LETTERS TO A TEENAGER

From Chicken Soup for the Father & Son Soul

Letters to a Teenager

The only thing we know for sure about future developments is that they will develop.

Anonymous

Monday
Son,

Good morning, unless of course you slept past noon, again. While I am at work, please mow the lawn and put the grass clippings in the recycle bin (not under the house).

Afterward, please walk your sister down to Lisa Rangale’s home. If Mrs. Rangale speaks to you, please don’t grunt. Try using some of that English language you learned at school. How’s the job hunting going? Is it tough finding summer employment halfway through the summer?

Love,
Dad.

P.S. Did I adopt your friends and not know it? One of them asked me for $10 the other day, and another wanted to know when Grandma was visiting. Then there’s the kid who’s been on the couch for six weeks with the remote control in his hands. He’s wearing my pajamas.

Tuesday
Son,

Good afternoon. The guest bathroom is for guests. You are not a guest—even though you act like one. Were we invaded yesterday by a band of pirates? There’s not a lick of food in the house—even the baking soda is gone. Guard the Jell-O with your life.

Love,
Dad.

P.S. Are those your initials you mowed into the lawn?

Wednesday
Son,

Good afternoon. If you are going to kiss your girlfriend, please have the courtesy to do it inside, rather than in front of the mailboxes and blocking Mrs. McCurdy next door from getting her mail. She’s seventy-two and was grossed out. You’re not too old for summer camp, you know.

Love,
Dad.

P.S. I noticed you and your friends all bleached your hair yesterday. Whose idea was it to do the same to the cat?

She’s fixed and declawed—wasn’t that enough for her to handle?

Thursday
Son,

Good afternoon. Is that our toilet paper hanging in Mrs. McCurdy’s trees? I recognized our light blue two-ply. I’m not sure what music you were listening to in your room last night, but before you bite the head off a bat or something, I think we should talk. Any idea when you might finish mowing the lawn?

Love,
Dad.

P.S. I hope you have a nice day at home. I’m thinking about licensing our place as a youth hostel. Tell your friends I’ll give them a special rate if they take their feet off the coffee table.

Friday
Son,

Good afternoon. The garage sale was an interesting and ingenious idea to compensate for your summer unemployment. However, I wish you had mowed the lawn before you sold my lawn mower. What’s your position on military academies?

Love,
Dad.

P.S. Someone’s mom called this morning looking for her son. I asked her to describe the boy, but she couldn’t remember what he looked like anymore (wait till she sees the hair). Anyway, she’s coming over tonight to watch you kids eat—she’s looking for the one who chews with his mouth open (I hope he has some other distinguishing mark). I pray it’s not your friend who helped me push my car to the gas station this morning after you boys ran it dry last night. He bought me a doughnut and called me sir. I’d miss him terribly.

Ken Swarner

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