Sunday, June 7, 2015

An Open Letter to My Kids About My Compulsive Need to Write Them Open Letters On a Blog All the Time

Dear Kids,

I have this nightmare where ten years from now, one or both of you is completely estranged from me because I spent all of your giggly, happy, fun, dandelion-chain-making times on a laptop or an iPhone writing open letters to you on a blog.

But I want you to know that I did it out of love. Love for myself, yes. But also love for you. I needed to catalog and archive each of your milestones: your first smile; your first laugh; your first ballet recital; your first little league game; the first time you screamed "I HATE YOU BITCH!!!" and slammed your bedroom door so hard it came off the hinges and four glasses fell out of an adjacent cabinet onto the laminate floor.

When you grow up you'll understand. 

You'll understand why it was never enough for me to just be present with you. To hold your little hand and gaze into your sweet loving eyes. To tuck you in at night with all your stuffed animals and then sort of freak out that you were taking so long to arrange them perfectly. To cheat at Candy Land with you. To let you watch one more cartoon even though it was lazy and short-sighted of me. To throw an adult temper tantrum as you defied me with impunity for the tenth time in an hour. 

You'll understand when you watch a really old movie from when mommy was the age you are now: It's called Bridesmaids. There's a scene where Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne are competing for who can give Maya Rudolph the best speech at her engagement party. The bridesmaids keep passing the mic back and forth, trying to one-up each other and impress the bride-to-be in front of hundreds of guests.

When you feel the rage boiling up inside your charred and bitter soul, just watch Bridesmaids and remember: That's all mommy was ever trying to do with these open letters--write the very best open letter in the whole wide world to you and (of course) to The Whole Wide World.

Also, get stoned and make a huge bowl of popcorn drenched in butter, because Bridesmaids is even funnier when served with weed and buttered popcorn.

Then the next day go to therapy and tell your therapist this analogy: I was Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne was every other mommy blogger out there, and Maya Rudolph was the amorphous audience of other anonymous mommies who devoured my open letter to you late at night while drinking pinot noir straight from the bottle, and forwarded it to all their friends who, in turn, shared it twelve zillion times on Facebook and Twitter until it went viral and maybe even got picked up by Huffpost Parents because it was so poignant and relatable.

You can even send me your therapist's bill and I promise I will always pay it promptly, no matter what. Even if you live on the other side of the world and aren't speaking to me, despite the fact that I've finally stopped writing open letters to you on a blog all the time.

One day you'll have kids too, and you'll understand.

Love always,

Mommy.


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