You have been telling me that since you were 9.
You didn't know, but you learned. I would tell you important things and each time you were convinced that I did not know what I was talking about. There were many times that you were correct. I really didn’t know what I was talking about. There were many times that I told you what you needed to know and prayed that you figured out the rest. As our first born son, you really got screwed. We had no clue what parenthood entailed or involved. We were all learning together. Hopefully you learned as much as we did along the way.
You watched your father and I, and learned all of our bad habits. You learned that a bathroom can go almost 2 weeks without being cleaned. You learned that a “dinner” can mean a bowl of cereal and an ice-cream sundae. You learned that after a bad day nothing tastes better than a beer or two. You learned that stress sometimes makes people say dumb things. You learned that lying can sometimes be ok. You learned that you can get away with spending an entire day in your jammies watching movies and eating junk food. You learned that calling out “You cock-sucking, mother-fucker!” is only reserved for inanimate objects that my have caused you physical pain i.e. stepped on legos or road rage. You learned that you can procrastinate and still get things done.
But despite all that, hopefully you learned other things from us. If you were paying attention you may have learned that laughing helps most situations. You learned that love makes people sacrifice without complaint. You learned that complaints can be therapeutic. You learned that therapy is a good thing. You learned that it is important not to stay mad. You learned that everyone puts in their fair share, but not all at the same time. You learned that family is the most important thing in the world. You also learned that family does not always mean related-by-blood. You learned that just because you disagree with someone does not mean that you don’t like them. AND just because you agree with someone doesn’t mean you have to like them.
We were not perfect parents and even less perfect teachers. We want so much for you. But the most important thing that we want is for you to be happy. We have tried to show you how to be happy, even knowing that is not something you can "teach" someone else. I have my own version of happy, and your father has his. We have another version of happy together. It takes some work to find happy and even more work to find happy with someone else. Personal happiness is something that changes, grows and evolves. We will always be working towards it.
So when I say I want you to be happy, that requires some work on your part. You must remember that you deserve to be happy. You must strive to help others in their own pursuit. You also have to remember that even though it may seem distant at times, it is right there inside you.
You are going to make mistakes and misjudgments. I am still doing that, and I am OLD! Your young mistakes and misjudgments will impact your life, but no matter, you will always have your father and I for a soft place to land. Even if you post those mistakes on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever other social media site there is. We will still be there for you to land, but I can’t promise it will be soft. And when I say “land” it just means that you can get some hugs and possibly some sympathy and a place to "reset". We will not fix your mistakes. Because we won’t. Even if you want us to. We will have to stop ourselves and trust that we have prepared you. It will kill us to watch you struggle. But we will stand behind you even when we know you are headed in the wrong direction. You will figure it out. You will and you will become better for it.
I know that “you know” most of this. I want to make sure that when you walk out of this house into your own life, you also know that nothing in this world could ever make us not love you. Unconditional. Constant. Evolving. Love.
The process of birth is so much a metaphor for life. I know you love when I talk about your birth story. You were stuck in my uterus and had to be taken out by an emergency c-section. I think about that and how your dad and I were so scared and stressed. But you knew what to do. You waited. You were patient. For 22 hours until the doctor said you were starting to get agitated. At that point they were wheeling me in for the c-section. A c-section was NOT in my birth plan. As a matter of fact NONE of those previous 22 hours were in my birth plan. So at that point I was willing to do anything the doctors and nurses told me. Including having a c-section, while they reversed my epidural because of my convulsions in response to it. But somehow you knew that your big-ass head was never going to fit through my vagina. (That is funny, because I know, right now, you are cringing and saying "Jesus, MOM!" I have to get my laughs in sometime!)
So, I thank you. I thank you for not following my plan. It was better for both of us in the long run. You left my body the way you needed to. Now you will leave our house the way you need to. You have always pursued your passions with your own gusto and originality. If you continue in that vain, you will be just fine. We only want what is best for you. What is best for you. What is best for you?
I can year you now.