To My Kid Who Found My Blog:
Hi my darling. I knew this day could come when you would find all these blog posts often talking about you, sometimes in a complimentary way, sometimes not.
Before you get super angry with me or embarrassed, I want you to know that writing this blog has been about my journey through parenthood with you and that you’ve been the one to teach me so much about myself. And I write this blog to help other parents know they’re not alone.
It’s for us. The grown-ups.
And no one, I guarantee absolutely no one thinks badly of you. They might think badly of me, and that’s okay.
But so much that’s written on the internet about parenting makes life seem like a bit bowl of strawberry ice cream. And I couldn’t work with that. Because parenting, as you know and have actually reminded me from time to time, is tough. Remember that time I rolled my eyes at you for some reason and you hilariously said, “Having kids, Daddy. It’s tough.”
You were exactly right. And sometimes we parents need to talk about it.
But it’s the greatest journey imaginable. And I’ve loved every step along the way with you.
I might have told the internet about some things that embarrass you.
But guess what? – I promise they’re things that only make everyone admire your strength of character. Because you’ve known who you were since the day you were born. It has proven to be up to your Tatty and me to figure out that YOU knew your true self and WE were the ones who needed to catch up and learn from you.
Or I might have complained about how whiny you were. Well…guess what? You were whiny for a time. But you’re not whiny, now.
But the thing was: you were only whiny to me. And that was probably because we spent such a long, intense amount of time together.
Also? In all these cases…I was the jerk.
You were just growing and learning and laughing and loving.
I was the jerk who was impatient and intolerant and frustrated and complaining.
And I promise that everyone knows I was the jerk while you were perfection growing bigger and stronger and smarter.
You’ll understand in life that you’ll need to complain about me to your friends. And I totally get that.
You’ll also see, one day, that having kids is really tough (though wonderful) and you’ll need to complain to your friends (and maybe to me?) about them. And that’s okay.
We are all human. We make mistakes, we misinterpret, we assume, we lose patience.
You might do this, also. And it’s okay. Especially in parenting.
In this age, grown-ups spend far too much time comparing ourselves to each other, especially in parenting. We worry that we aren’t doing a good enough job to feed, nurture, teach, protect, and foster our perfect little children.
We are terrified we are screwing it all up.
And because so many people out there pretend parenting is easy or that everything is clean and beautiful and always happy, it makes the rest of us feel bad.
And now that we are so many years beyond our frustration, I don’t even remember the hard parts. I only remember the laughter and joy.
Actually, that’s a complete lie. I remember the tears and messes and screams and boredom.
The years fly by but the days are endless.
But those times don’t matter, anymore. Now I know you’re growing too fast and I want to slow down and I’d be happy to return to the baby times, again. (Or, well..lemme think about that.)
Anyway, you’ve already lost interest and I’m repeating myself and going on and on, per usual.
Just remember this:
- I’m the jerk.
- You’re the wonder.
- You’ve taught me probably more than I can teach you.
- Know that by sharing your journey with other parents, you’ve helped make the world a better place.
You’ve taught other parents about growing up, about gender identity, about love and wonder and acceptance.
And you’ve helped other parents know that they aren’t alone in feeling tired and frustrated. And believe it or not, that’s a gift you’ve given them.
Thank you for not hating me for writing all I wrote.
I love you to infinity and back.