Want to feel small? Impotent? Totally without ability or even a fucking plan when your world is crashing around you? Try standing idly by when your kid is in trouble. Try propping up your prodigy when you yourself could use a crutch. And try telling the human you made that everything is going to work out when you’re having trouble believing it yourself.
I’d rather pull my own teeth out with pliers first.
Children. They are our greatest source of joy and our doom. Our pride and our fall from grace. Nothing can make you hurt more than seeing your child suffer. As parents we are hard wired to protect and nurture and guide our creations to greatness. And when that goes to shit, we suffer – more so than if it was our own misstep.
We don’t even blame our children for their mistakes. There’s only so much blame to go around and God knows after we’ve taken our share, there’s none left. We feel one hundred percent responsible for the trials of our children. They are us more intimately than any other thing on the planet. I carried these beings inside me. I’ve made it my life’s work to study and get to know them. Who better than me to understand how they work. Who better than me to be their fall guy. After all, were it not for me and my selfish need to procreate, they would be doctors and lawyers and rocket scientists. Hell, there are times I’m convinced a pack of wolves would have done a better job of parenting than I have.
So when they fall; I feel ultimately responsible. I hit rewind on their young lives and critique my parenting every step along the way. Where I was too harsh; too lax; too absent; too smothering. Too flawed.
So many ways I’ve let them down. Too many to count.
So instead of some insightful, slightly uplifting sentiment with a curly-que of hope and a humor cherry on top, this post is an apology to my kids. I’m sorry if was a less then par parent. I’m sorry I let you down. And I’m sorry I didn’t raise you to have every opportunity in front of you. You all are wonderful people and you deserved way better than what I gave. I wish I had it all to over again. I would not have burdened you with such uselessness.
And those times that you are soaring, and there have been many, know that I am proud of you beyond belief. Not only for your great accomplishments, but because you managed them in the face of great obstacle. Namely, your crappy parent.
Go get them kids. Show the world you don’t need good parents to make something of yourself.