1. I was a little unprepared for you
Like you, I was a rascal in my youth. I used to stay out late, eat bad food, and keep unsavory company. I rarely thought seriously about being like my parents. It may have seemed like I knew what I was doing from the start, but parenthood just happens. Then you sent me on a journey of spiritual learning and love that I never knew I needed, or even existed. So, to begin with, thank you.
2. Your birth was a real blur
Your birth was such a strange experience, my mind seemed to be focusing on a hundred things at once. It was painful, tiring and even awkward. Then when you came out, the nurses checked you thoroughly and offered you to me. Well, I didn’t know what to say or do. You didn’t feel like my responsibility, not with all those medical professionals in the room. I was shaking and overwhelmed. Sorry for that.
3. I didn't know how exactly to be a parent
I was a tabula rasa parent. Only gradually did I learn how to ‘act’. But even when I was guiding you with apparent authority, it was really only a case of the blind (or virtually blind) leading the blind. But, as they say, ‘in the kingdom of the blind the one eyed man is king’. So, somewhat unqualified, I got the job.
4. I dropped you
Yes, I dropped you - in the bath. It was the most stressful thing I have ever experienced. I trembled so much I could not properly cling on to you, especially with the water and the soap. Of course you were fine in the end, but I failed to keep you safe. I never ever dropped anyone else’s kids though (I wouldn’t dare), only you. Sorry.
5. I wasn't always wise
This was supposed to be my area of expertise, me being a proud wordsmith. But to become good, you didn’t need to hear any of my witty turns of phrases, elegant expressions or vigorous, but vain, opinions. You needed proper advice.
I offered you plenty of clichés: like, ‘If you keep making that face, it’ll freeze that way’; or ‘If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?’ Etc. But I did not often have much important things to say. I was still young myself, and unaware. So I regret not helping to fill your mind with resounding beauty and sagacious wisdom.
6. I am sorry about your school days
You were naturally inquisitive and happy. You loved learning words and ideas, letters and numbers. So, we started researching all the local schools - and even those that were not local – just trying to make sure we didn’t make a wrong choice. We took it all very seriously, like adults do. I really hope you enjoyed your school days, and if you did not (like me) I hope you know we tried our very best only to nourish your natural talents.
7. I confused you
I loved every day of being with you, never wanted to lose you, and I was trying to make you ready to become independent. Did I want you to stay forever or to be set free? Both! Whatever I did, I didn’t quite want to do, and whatever you did, I didn’t quite want you to do. I don’t know whether I loved you too much or loved you wrongly – but I apologize for perplexing you and embarrassing you with my tears.
8. A parent's love
You were mine to make mistakes with, and that is just the way it is. As they say, ‘when you are a parent you will understand’. Whatever we do, we run the risk of erring. But, I have discovered that the greatest joy is in seeing you overcome your apparent difficulties, to rise forth successful and happy.
So I am sorry it was me who, through ignorance and daftness, put obstacles in your way. But I am not sorry - I am, indeed very proud - at how you reacted, becoming the person you are. In sum: I am a bit of a dope, and I love you very much.