When I was 18 years old, my mother wrote me this.
Something you said really struck me, and I wanted to reply to that. It was when you said you knew you’d been a lot of trouble. Well, yes, you’ve been a lot of trouble…a lot of pain and sorrow and just plain ain-in-the-ass. Point being, my dear, that that is what children are. No apologies necessary or expected. When one takes on the responsibility of children, then one takes on all kinds of pain. It’s ahrd to learn; hard to teach [life]. And, let’s face it, parents become all kinds of pain too. Isn’t that so? Are you really going to tell me that your parents aren’t sometimes the biggest pains of all?
Love calls for sacrifices of all kinds including (or especially) peace of mind. You can’t love without being concerned, even if it doesn’t always show. Indeed, I spend a lot of time trying not to be or show as much concern as I feel.
You were and are everything a child is supposed to be. Please don’t ever apologize for being what you are. If you did some things that made me disappointed or dislike you, well, can’t you reverse that and say the same thing of me (or your dad)?
I like you as a person, as much as I can ever know of you, that is. And you’re right, something you said once long ago (as far away as last summer?), that your dad and I trusted you and you didn’t want to abrogate that trust. You’re right, we do trust you. Not in the sense that we think you’re never going to make mistakes or do something we dislike, but in the sense that you’re ok as a person and we can let you go.
The gods know, life can sometimes be a terrible struggle, and sometimes you’re going to think you’re not going to make it. Sometimes you might even get irriatated when someone tells you how strong you are and how you’re going to be OK. As if the strong don’t suffer as much as the weak! Come 40, when you’ve got to look back and reconsider, I hope you can look back with less regret than I. But human beings being what we are, I doubt it. Your regrest will not be mine, but uniquely yours, and I can tell you now, no one will ever really understand the losses you feel. That isn’t what’s important–that someone else understand. It’s only important that you try to understand yourself. It’s then that you’ll come closest to understanding your parents, I think.
Do you understand your parents yet?