Thursday, February 3, 2011

An Open Letter to Parents

Dear Moms and Dads,

You're rock stars.

Here's how I know: I have today off. I have a grillion things to do -- appointments to keep, errands to run, a car to shovel out of snow that's up to my knees. I need to work out and I would like to take the time to meditate after working out and I need to go to the bank... and at some point, I will also need to shower. And do laundry. And eat.  Oh, and put away the clean dishes and the clean laundry and I would also like to rearrange my pantry -- if there's time.

I'm sure there will be time.


Anyway, the point is this: I'm not quite sure how all of these things are going to happen today... and it's just me. The only person I have to get to the proper places, feed at somewhat appropriate times, clothe and care for is MYSELF.  I cannot imagine trying to get these things done AND get a smaller someone to school, help with homework, take to practice and clubs and activities and doctor's appointments and playdates and make sure they go to bed at a reasonable hour and whatnot.

But y'all do it.

Every dang day.

And honestly? You make it look easy. Which is why I'm taking the time to write this letter. Because I know it's NOT easy. I know it's actually really hard. It's hard if you have a job outside the home, and it's hard if your job is to BE at home. (Anyone who decides that "stay at home parent" isn't a full time, incredibly difficult job? Is an ass.)

You're a hero. You're a hero if you've got little ones who need you for pretty much everything -- and you always come through. You're a hero if your children have grown up and become adults with children of their own because they were able to do that as a result of what you did for them. You're a hero if you have teenagers who are in-between and think you're pretty ridiculous and obviously the most idiotic person on the planet but who want you to fix their problems anyway -- and who will eventually appreciate that you guided them through those challenging years.

You're not just a hero. You're a superhero with superpowers. You can see the faces being made behind your back and call a child out without turning around. You can hear what your child is saying when she's not speaking at all. You know that when you ask what your three year old is doing in there and he says "Nothing?" that it's DEFINITELY something to be checked out. You know when a hug will fix everything.

You set boundaries and you guard borders and you administer justice. You are the first teacher and the best example. You teach your children how to love, how to lose, how to fail, how to succeed, how to grieve, and how to celebrate. You teach them how to work and how to play.

You do all of this AND you keep appointments, run errands, work out, meditate, eat, shower, do laundry, clean dishes.

You're a hero.

You're MY hero.

I just wanted you to know that.



  1. Thank you for recognizing! Sometimes even those closest to us dont see it! It is nice to know there is someone who does!

  2. So nice to hear, Danielle. Parenting is the hardest job ever but brings enormous rewards, even when it's sometimes heartbreaking.

    Now that our kids are at college or living away from home, I have two dogs and two parakeets that depend totally on me for food, exercise, and comfort... so I still don't have that "only me" experience. I must not want it, I've concluded! (masochist, here)

    Enjoy your time-for-you. Everyone needs some.