Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Daniel, (advice about parents)

You didn't get to choose your parents—not intentionally anyway. Perhaps in some cosmic sense, your spirit/soul/whatever-you-want-to-call-it chose your dad's and my whatever-you-want-to-call-it. But, in this concrete world, in this permutation of our existence, you didn't choose us; I didn't choose my parents and your dad didn't choose his.

Here's the thing about parents: they(we) will disappoint you. I will disappoint you, and you need to know that those moments will suck for both of us. You also need to know that I promise you, I will always try my hardest to make it better. If I hurt your feelings or if I let you down, let me know if I don't know already, and I will do everything in my power to make things right between us.

There will come a time in your life when you will get to choose whether you want to be in relationship with your parents. I hope when that time comes, we won't have given you any reason to even think about not being in our lives. But I know that sometimes (grown) children have to make the difficult decision to end communication and/or relationship with their parent(s), and I can understand how someone would come to that conclusion.

Also please know that I will not choose to end my relationship with you. I will always try to be there for you and support you in the ways that I can, and in the ways you find most helpful. (So please let me know when I'm not doing so well at it!)

In the same way, I will let you know (when it is appropriate) if you ever hurt my feelings or disappoint me. It's only fair that someday our relationship will be much more two-way, although I will always be your Momma. (As an aside, I don't want you to worry about disappointing me with the choices you make. As long as you're safe and happy, I may not understand your decisions, but I will be happy for you and I will support you in making your own decisions.)

I will disappoint you, but I hope you will forgive me. I love you tons.



  1. After watching the way some people treat their children in public lately and seeing some horrible stories on the news, I've been thinking about this a lot and how, were I an unborn soul waiting to be born into a family, I would be absolutely terrified. So many people don't recognize that children have rights. I love this letter because I've had similar thoughts--I screw up all the time and my poor kids just have to live with me! I know no one's perfect and I've settled for making it my goal for my kids' childhoods to be better than my own.

  2. If all parents felt this way, the world would rock. :)


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