My Dear, Precious Child,
Sometimes we don’t get along and I whine, gripe, and complain. I want to explain my actions. My role as your parent is extremely important to me. In fact, my role as your parent is one of the most important roles that I’ve ever had the privilege of filling. It is a role that I hold dear.
I hope you realize how much I love you. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I love you more than any words can describe and my love for you will never change. Still, the energy and strength that are needed to parent you—and parent you well—are in short supply when placed next to all of the other roles that I must fill as wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, writer, and nurturer of myself.
Those other roles don’t excuse my grumpy and sometimes rude behavior, but those other roles do matter. And that is why I have to stop trying to carry all of a load that I really should be sharing with you.
Like when I pick up your dirty dishes (and wash them too). Simple acts like this are a disservice to you.
Or when I wash your clothes, dry them, fold them, and even put them away. Those chores are something that I could and should teach you.
And the times when the trash is barely balancing like a Jenga masterpiece? Instead of smashing, and tying, and then carrying out the bag while complaining under my breath, I could and really should discuss how the skill of noticing something that is needed and filling that need without being asked will benefit you and everyone around you for years to come.
These things probably sound trivial and like more griping to you, but I promise you these minor things play a large part in both my demeanor and the care and responsibility we have to each other and to our home.
Still, there is another issue that I need to point out. Another issue that I can’t blame on my other roles. This issue is fully my own, and another important part of parenting you.
You see, it is human nature to hurt when someone you love hurts, or to feel sad when someone you love feels sad.
This is why, as a parent of someone that I love and feel responsible for, I try extremely hard to limit your pain. Sometimes, I get angry, complain, and, yes, even yell at you when you make choices that cause you discomfort, sadness, and ultimately growth (the important part), too.
But your emotions are your own. They are a load I should only share with you—not bear for you.
Oh, dear piece of my heart: if it’s not already obvious, you are my number one priority and my greatest delight, which is why it is so important to me that I get this role right.
This joyful role that didn’t come with an interview, or a job description, or even an instruction manual is a role that I am learning and doing the absolute best at that I can.
This coveted role that I begged and pleaded with the Big Guy Upstairs to bestow on me is a role that I don’t want to take for granted as I journey through life with you.
This cherished role that brought me my greatest gift—YOU—in this crazy, stressful, and tiring world is one that makes my life complete.
Dear child of mine, despite my sometimes-negative reactions, there is nothing that I adore more than my role as your parent. I am so grateful that I get to share life with you. And, most importantly, I promise to work on not interrupting your opportunities to grow.