Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Strangers in a Strange Land

Dearest Daughter,

Adolescence is making thingsa bit rocky at the moment. (You've been grounded till the end of the month for example). And at some point recently I desperately felt like I needed to reach out to you about this strange land we are wandering through. And because I'm not adept at human speech, I wrote it down.

At the moment, you still have it (in fact you made a point to show me that you still had it, which pleased me more than I let on. We are both masters at telling each other things that matter while pretending that they don't). But by the time you read this I am sure it will be long gone. So I'll copy and paste it here.

I love you,

Daddy


Dearest Daughter,

You have said that there’s no point in saying I’m sorry when I lose my temper because I’m just going to lose it again one day. And that’s true. That is unfortunately true.

But please never ever think I don’t love you. I love you so SO much. That has never changed – not in our darkest moments. And it isn’t ever going to. No matter how pissy I get, you know that I have always been there for you. And while it may be true that I lose my tempers sometimes when you don’t deserve it, you also know that even when you DO deserve it, I am always going to forgive you. Shoot, I keep doing stuff for you even WHILE I’m angry with you.

But here’s the thing: I’m scared. Just pants-wetting scared. And lost. Most all the time. I have NO idea what I’m doing. It is my job (the most important job I have) to keep you safe….. but at the same time give you the freedom to let you grow. AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO BOTH OF THOSE AT THE SAME TIME!!!

First part is easy – just lock you up and never let you out. Second part is easy – just toss you out the door and let you do whatever. But BOTH of them TOGETHER???

So I do make mistakes. I wake up almost every morning think “Ohhh. I should have done that SO differently. I could have done that so much better than I did.”

And I know that you are JUST as scared and lost in all this as I am. Because here’s the deal – we’re BOTH doing something we’ve never done before. I have NO IDEA how to be the parent of a teenager. And you have NO IDEA how to BE a teenager. We are both clueless and we are both nervous and neither of us really knows what’s going on and we are just bumbling through it all the best we can, making a ton of mistakes but trying so very hard to get it right.

But please never ever think, for all of my fumbling and fussing, that I don’t love you fiercely. Because I do, so very much.  (And the proof is the fumbling and fussing. I don’t get upset about things I don’t care about.)

I love you kid. Always have. Always will.

And it’s okay, because we are both going to get through this.

(also – I leave you alone in your room and hang in mine trying not to bother you because I know that privacy at your age is very important.

But that is the only reason. I don’t want you to mistake it for me not being interested in you or not caring about you. (There’s a reason I asked for your time as my birthday present). I was here for you before you hid away. And I will be here for you when you eventually come back.)

Friday, August 4, 2017