Dear Mom Who Reads and/or Writes Open Letters Starting With "Dear Mom of Some Kid Who Does or Is Something or Someone,"
I see you everywhere. Do you see me? I know you do.
I feel like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense. Whenever I go online, there you are. Whenever I scroll up in my Facebook newsfeed, there you are again! Whenever I open my email, there's a link to one of your letters. And The Huffington Post? Ha! Forget about it! You're all over that like moustache wax on a hipster.
You could be lurking behind a pillar at a subway station, or you might be sitting very still on a park bench where no one but me can see you, and we make eye contact and some creepy music pipes in from nowhere. Indeed, at this very moment you could be staring at the back of my head while I'm obliviously wresting Mentos and Tic-Tacs from my kids' hands in the allegedly "Family Friendly" checkout line at Trader Joe's.
Sometimes you're poignant, sometimes you're funny, and sometimes you're self-righteous and sanctimonious. But no matter what, you think you're pretty smart and insightful. Just like me. And for all I know, maybe you are!
I know you feel judged. But only because you like to judge everyone else. Especially strangers. The bible says "Judge not, lest ye be judged." But ye are being judged! Even as we speak. So by all means, judge away.
Because as much as I fear and resent you, I don't know what I would do without you. Without your absolution, how would I ever feel OK about the fact that my kid stole your kid's ball and/or light-up Razor Scooter on the playground last Tuesday? And I would never--EVER--know what to do about that goddamn iPhone. Should I throw it against a brick wall? Should I bury my head in it in front of my kids and start Tweeting that they're #blowingbubbles instead of actually blowing bubbles with them? Who knows? Certainly not me.
Not without your dueling letters, at least, with one basically saying my child will drink a gallon of anti-freeze at 14 because I spent her childhood playing Candy Crush Saga instead of sewing Girl Scout patches on her Brownie vest, and the other letter saying nah, it's all good, go ahead and play Candy Crush Saga until your eyeballs fall out or you get to level ten zillion and three, whichever comes first.
I need your letters so that I can weigh each of my parenting decisions carefully, (often after it's too late to change them), and feel bad or maybe good about something I did. Seriously, I can't emphasize this enough: I need your letters. Like, every day. Every. Single. Fucking. Day. Go on. Show yourself. Give me a sign. And please. Let that sign be another open letter.
I need you to feel validated. If my child throws a tantrum in the middle of the produce section at Whole Foods, I need to know that you saw it, took pity on me, and then took the time to pen a letter of sympathy and amnesty. Or conversely, I need to know that you think I over-reacted, sullied my good name, and traumatized my kid for life.
Please--Mom Who Reads and/or Writes Open Letters Starting With "Dear Mom of Some Kid Who Does or Is Something or Someone"--write me another letter today. I beg of you. I await with baited breath your mercy and your next pardon or scolding.
Mom Who Lives in Perpetual Anticipation of the Next Open Letter from a Complete Stranger That She Can Rely Upon to Feel Bad or Good About Some Parenting Situation Depending on the Circumstances.