A searing letter to my parents
It’s funny how the older you get, the more you realize what an impact your parents have had on your life. As you grow and become a parent yourself, you start to understand, if you had parents like mine, how hard they must have worked in order to keep you on the straight and narrow. Here’s a little tongue-in-cheek tribute to my wonderful parents.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m writing to let you know that as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that I missed out on a lot of things in life because of your archaic parenting philosophies. I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but you deprived me of lots of things.
First of all, you didn’t buy me a new car when I turned 16. In fact, you didn’t buy me a car at all! You made me drive that disgusting work truck that Dad bought VERY used in the 80s. Because you did that, I have been pleased and proud anytime I have managed to get a car that was made in the current decade. I don’t get even nervous as my odometer inches closer to 200,000 miles. You made me that way!
Another thing. You forced me to come home before midnight. Do you realize how much fun I missed out on just because you couldn’t sleep when I wasn’t home? Do you know how many opportunities to get in trouble passed me by while I was sleeping in my bed late at night? And now, here I am, a grown woman, with no exciting jail story to tell. Your fault!
Something else: you didn’t let me get away with talking back to you, yelling at you, slamming doors, or pouting. You didn’t allow me to ignore you or get too proud or act like I knew best. You clearly communicated at every turn that the world didn’t revolve around me. Do you understand that I never got to live under the illusion that kids rule the world? Not even once! You tainted my mind with the idea that adults deserve respect.
You know what else? You took me to church all the time. I mean, all the time. I never got to sleep in on Sundays. You sent me to all these Christian camps and enrolled me in Vacation Bible School and took me to Christian concerts. Do you realize how little chance you gave me to hear diverse religious teachings? You didn’t teach me all the world philosophies and let me choose my own path! You showed me how to love Jesus and follow Him. Now I’m married to a pastor, and our kids love church. You are very much responsible for this turn of events.
Are you catching my drift yet? On top of all this, you spent loads of time with me and took me camping and carted me around on vacations and fed and clothed me. You played board games and taught me to sing and made me love music and bought those piano lessons and let me try out for cheerleader (even though you knew I didn’t have a chance of making the team) and let me be dramatic and listened when I talked too much and only got slightly annoyed when I stood between you and whatever you were trying to look at in the grocery store. You laughed a lot and made me feel important. And because of all these things I grew up happy. Do you hear that? I had very little teen angst to work through. You robbed me of my chance to be miserable.
And the real kicker is that because of your crazy, passé child-rearing ideas, I am now trying to be the same type of parent to my own kids. So the vicious cycle is perpetuated.
I hope you’re happy with yourselves. Maybe someday you will realize what an impact all of this deprivation has had on my life.