An open letter to a mother

Dear Mom,

Hi.  I’m your child.  Remember, the one you raised from a very young age?  I’d like to finally introduce myself to you in a way that might make you uncomfortable:

Hi, I’m a human being too.

I know that you did your best to raise me the way you thought was good and correct, and that now, whenever you look at me and my choices in life, you see a disappointment.  I wish you wouldn’t express that to me.  I get that I won’t understand what it means to watch a child change until I’m a parent too, but I very much understand rejection and disappointment. Please don’t pile those things on me.

You see, I just want to live my life in the way I think is good and correct.  I want to fall in love with someone, and I want it not to matter if their gender is the same as or different than mine.  I want to try dangerous or unhealthy things sometimes, because I know someday I may have to lock myself tightly into the system, and the system is boring – so I want to feel alive.  I want to make money at a job I love, and sometimes that might mean I don’t make much money at all.  I want to leave my mark on the world, but probably not the way you meant to leave a mark on the world when you raised me.

If I’m in love, be happy for me. If I’m being dangerous or unhealthy, give me your advice, but treat me like an adult.  If I’m struggling with money, be sympathetic (though I’m not asking to be a charity).  If I’m leaving my mark on the world, be proud of me.

I know we can never be peers or even friends, really, because you will always be my mother and I will always be your child.  But the more you respect me, the more I will respect you, and then I’ll be proud to point you out and say, “Yeah, that’s right, she’s my mom.”

I love you very much, and I hope you can see that I mean nothing against you, your parenting, or your love with this letter.

Sincerely,

Your child