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Dear Child: Some 'Sorrys' You've Never Heard

My darling child, 

I love you, I always have and always will, but there are some things I apologize for. No, I am not talking about kissing you in public, wearing too tight jeans or showing off your childhood photos. These things you'll just have to learn to live with. There are more important ways in which I was not perfect, and I ask you first to read, and then to forgive your daft old parent for being a loving fool.
 
1. I was a little unprepared for you
Parenting
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
Parenting
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 
Parenting
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
Parenting
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
Parenting
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 
Parenting
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
Parenting
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
Parenting
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.
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