Dear neighbor boy,
Thank you for staying out past curfew with your boisterous skateboard-toting buddies as to capture the attention of a passing police officer. Thank you for getting in a fight at school, one serious enough to give another lawman something to do. Thank you for attending your citation hearings and for accepting your sentence with the utmost teenage dignity. In today's wavering economy, public servants are grateful for the steady work you provide.
Thank you for choosing to fulfill several of your community service hours at our house. Without your help, the Christmas tree might still be up, the fish would be concealed in algae-covered aquarium glass, and the bathroom would still show the aftermath of Tropical Storm Alec.
Thank you for letting me run in the mornings with your mom so that I understand that if good parenting could prevent kids from making dumb choices, you would be shining your halo and not my floors. Thank you for helping me find a little more patience for my own budding teen and his homework-hating, chore-avoiding, sibling-pestering ways.
Thank you for helping Todd with a science crossword puzzle. I'm not sure how his teacher felt about your suggestion to add a exclamation points to the hypothesized words that didn't fit the allotted squares, but he did complete his assignment. Thank you for the other lesson that you taught Todd and that he has since passed on to his little sister: "Kenna, it's good to learn from your own mistakes but sometimes it's good to learn from other people's mistakes!!"