a plainclothes officer from the Adorable district

“What’s your movie about?” My son asks brightly.

“A private investigator,” I yawn. “Like your aunt,” I elaborate, burrowing deeper into the down comforter. I’m tired, but my mind isn’t ready to give up the fight. British crime dramas or American B-movies, the tried-and-true formula that eventually gets me there.

My son’s interest is piqued. “Juliet is a private investigator? Like – a detective? Like – The Cobweb?”

My heart actually hurts hearing this, the tenderness of my child. I feel the sting of tears because my son is Just A Little Boy. The Cobweb is a new thing in our house; just two hours ago I’d called the kids to me to bitchily ask who’d toppled a large stack of towels into the bathtub and left them there. Both children disavowed any involvement and, frustrated, I sent them off. A half hour later Nels has donned a “detective” ensemble to solve the mystery: tweedy coat, gloves, a ski cap pulled low, and an ultraviolet flashlight. “I’m on the case,” he tells us. And one by one he leads each pet into the bathroom to test the hypothesis they could have made the mess. He presents his results (two cats, apparently, were involved in some kind of assy Rube-Goldberg implausibility) and I am wanting to die because he is so sweet.

Today at the advocacy center Nels made up a crayon’d-and-be-sticker’d diagram of who “safe” adults were in his life. Ralph and I made the cut as impeccably Safe, as did Police Officer. On the backside of the sheet a few characters received a more conservative analysis – a doctor and a babysitter, each drawn behind a door, a knob on both sides of the door.

I’m glad we’re all learning (or re-learning) about Safety. It’s good to check in on that stuff.

The Cobweb. I don’t know where this came from but I could use some sleuthing help. I’ve got a few cold cases that need solving.

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