A note to be read later in life…
Dear Annabel (and, for that matter, all other kids out there),
Now that you are an adult you may hold resentment toward your parents. You may feel that they made mistakes while raising you or, at times, simply didn’t live up to being everything you hoped they would. Well, here’s something to consider:
Parents are human just like you.
We’ve got shit going on. Problems at work, stresses at home, issues with money. We could be struggling with our weight, depression, or dealing with some other health issue. We could be lonely and finding it harder to make friends now that we aren’t in school, or crestfallen as we come to the realization that life isn’t going to turn out exactly as we hoped it would when we were younger. In the case of your Mommy and me, we could also be really, really missing your big sister, Madeline. Parents have all of these things to contend with and many, many more.
This is a surprise to you, I’m sure, because parents do their best to make their kids feel loved, safe, and in capable hands that will always make everything right. The truth is, however, that there were many days when your parents were dealing with something hard, but you were blissfully unaware. All you were exposed to were smiles, hugs, and the reassurance that all would be okay.
Sometimes it was hard to keep up the facade when times were really hard, and if we weren’t the best parents on those days, we’re sorry. But the majority of the time, I hope, we kept you happy, smiling, safe, and totally unaware of the grown up problems that were weighing us down.
So instead of focusing on the times we let you down (and I’m sure there were those days as much as we never wanted there to be), perhaps you could instead focus on just how often we managed to be everything you wanted us to be in the face of it all.
Love to you always,