Wednesday, April 15, 2009

True Detectives

If you told me a year ago how much Doogie would change in that time, I would never have believed you. When he passed his driving test in August, there was a spurt of maturity almost over night. He became more considerate about my pain as well as paying attention to how much things cost. In early March, he met a girl at a party (honestly, they'd known each other for years, but he noticed her at the party), and within days they were a couple. This is his first experience with dating and having a girlfriend, and it's fun watching him learn through trial and error. Things that were never high on his priority list: cleaning out his car, brushing his teeth every night, and wearing polos instead of T-shirts, suddenly moved to the top of that list. Other things that he never would have even considered like reading the Bible daily and attending track meets are now must-dos. Then turning 18 a week and a half ago seemed to cause another emotional growth spurt. He's getting along with both of his sisters, and even when he's angry, he's turning to the Bible instead of lashing out.

As my firstborn, Doogie has always had a special place in my heart, but he and his father have had a closer bond. They both like gaming, comic books, and fantasy novels. He looks like his dad's Mini-Me (but not very mini at just shy of 6' and over 200 lbs!). I've always tried to be there to listen to Doogie about what's going on in his life, offering advice when requested, but mostly just being there. That has paid off in spades in the last several months. We talk...a lot! Last night he didn't get the dishes done until after 11pm, because he kept coming in to chat with me. He volunteered to do the dishes (without any incentive or idea of reward) to help reduce Jesse's stress load around the house. Why is it just when he's becoming the man I always knew he could be, he's going to be leaving home???

Saturday morning, Jesse, Doogie, and I are leaving to spend the weekend at his college, UW-Superior, to take a tour of the campus and get to know the area. It's all becoming real. My son, my baby boy, is becoming a man, a good man, and he's going to leave home to start his own life. I know that means that I've done my job as a parent, and that my new job is supporting his decisions and most importantly, letting go. It's a whole new chapter in parenting, and I don't know if I'm ready. Then again, I wasn't ready at 17 to be his mom, and that's turned out pretty well, and this time I'll put my trust in God so it can only get better.

As I said, Molly and Doogie are getting along so much better too. He's defended her in school, and she's been offering girl advice. They've even been confiding in each other. Last night Molly lay on my bed with me while Doogie was standing in the doorway chatting with us. He flipped open his phone to check his texts and read, "Hush, don't tell, but I drove." I looked at Molly, who has the paperwork to get her temps but doesn't actually have them yet, and she was glaring at him. He read it out loud again and then looked at her too. She was turning a lovely shade of red. He said, "Oops."

True Detectives by Jonathan Kellerman is a break from his usual Alex Delaware series and stars Aaron Fox and Moe Reed from his 2008 book Bones. Alex and partner Milo Sturgis are listed as tertiary characters, but that is misleading; in 363 pages, they show up for about 3 of them. Fox and Reed and half-brothers and rivals. Fox is a high-priced private detective hired to look into the disappearance of a college girl, Caitlin Frostig. The girl's disappearance just happens to be a cold case belonging to Reed, a police detective still trying to find just where he belongs. The brothers have a complicated history leaving their communications prickly and full of competition. Working together, they discover the dark and dirty secrets of the very rich and very famous, but will that help them discover what happened to Caitlin? I was a bit disappointed with this book; it truly suffered from the terrific chemistry between Delaware and Sturgis that Kellerman has perfected over 20 some books. While the mystery takes plenty of twists and turns, the brother relationship is more frustrating than compelling. Fox is portrayed so differently from his appearance in Bones, I didn't even recognize him at first. In the end, readers will either love or hate the truth behind Caitlin's disappearance. Personally, I felt betrayed, like Kellerman was just playing with me. I'll be back to read more of Delaware's books, but I'll skip those featuring the detective brothers.

When I booked our hotel room for this weekend, I used one of the many discount sites that let you compare rates between multiple hotels. After I booked, I received an email from a different company, HotelsCombined, that lets you search all of those sites in one search, AND if you become their friend on Facebook or mention them on a blog (like this), they will make a donation to your favorite charity! I searched to see if I could have found a better deal for this weekend, and I could have saved $20 if I had used HotelsCombined instead of! Check them out for yourself!