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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WARNING: Dear Dad and Mom

What if I told you that I could time travel?
 What if I told you that I found something of yours from the future and brought it back with me? 
What if I told you that what I found was something carefully crafted by one of your children?
Would you want to see it?

I don't know about you, but if YOU told ME that you could time travel and that you found something that belonged to me I would tell you that you are certifiably CRAZY! However, I would want to see what you had just to satisfy my curiosity.

What could it hurt?

What could it possibly be?

I bet it's something amazing!

If I had to guess, I'd say that one of my little geniuses probably grew up to be the guy who finally invented the hover board from the movie Back to the Future, and you brought one back for me.

Am I right?

I'm right aren't I?

Weren't we supposed to have those by now?

No? That's not it?

Unfortunately, it's not something that cool. It's actually just a letter. A letter written by someone's child once he/she had grown up and done some real thinking as an adult, but I'm not sure who it belongs to. Check it out if you'd like, but don't say I didn't warn you. The future can be a dark and scary place depending on the decisions you make and the habits you develop along the way:

Dear Dad and Mom,

                     Hey guys it's me. I am writing to let you know that married life and parenthood are fantastic. By fantastic I mean, a real challenge, but you already knew that.  For some reason I've had a lot on my mind lately and I just wanted to get it all out there and off of my chest. I'd like to start by saying that I appreciate everything you've done for me throughout the years. Now that I've been on my own for a while I'm really starting to realize all the sacrifices you two made for me. As a child I never really understood how much time and effort you put into my life. It seems like something happens pretty much every day now that helps me put it all into perspective. You invested in me.  You provided for me. You taught me how to take care of myself. You taught me how to treat others. You told me all about love and the values to look for in a spouse. Thank you for that.

I do have a few confessions and questions though. There were a lot of things that I saw or heard while growing up that you never knew about. Maybe you guys didn't think I was paying attention? Maybe you guys didn't think I was old enough to understand? Maybe you guys got too caught up to realize exactly what was going on? Whatever the reason may be, I just need a few answers. I made many observations throughout the years but I just never knew how to properly address them.
  • Dad, I noticed that you would drop what you were doing to help a friend in need no matter what they needed, yet it always seemed like when Mom needed a favor you treated her like she was asking for the world. You just never had the time.
  • Mom, you were always so patient with me when I made mistakes. You were patient and forgiving of everyone's mistakes, besides Dad's. Sometimes it seemed like you enjoyed pointing them out, actually. It never made sense to me. It seemed like he was the one person you had unrealistic expectations for.
  • Dad, you always told me how much you loved me. You always showed me how much you loved me. Is there a reason why you didn't do the same for Mom? You taught me that we are a family and we're supposed to love each other. Is there some kind of exception to that rule between you and Mom?
  • Mom, you always taught me to speak to others with respect and I was held accountable when I did not. I never understood why you spoke to Dad the way you did  when you thought no one else was listening.
  • Dad, you always expected me to be forthright and honest with my feelings. You stressed to me how important it was to communicate with others but you always seemed to shut down and hold your feelings inside when it was time to communicate with Mom. Why?
  • Mom, you didn't fight fair. You fought to win the fight, not to resolve the problem. 
Alright, it's all off my chest. I think I feel better and I hope you guys understand. I'm sorry I never said anything sooner but I just didn't know how to articulate it properly. I'm old enough now that I do. Sometimes I catch myself  falling into some of these behaviors in my marriage and I don't like the way it makes me feel. You guys taught me to marry my best friend and I did, but it just made me realize that you guys did not. Or did you? Were you ever best friends? Do you love each other? I  know it's too late to change any of this for my sake but you can do it for yours. I love you.


Was this your letter?

I hope not.

Could you imagine receiving this letter from one of your children one day?

...Or even just knowing that your child had to struggle with these unanswered questions throughout life and there was no way you could go back and change things?

Wouldn't it break your heart?

Wouldn't it make you wish you could just go back and somehow find a way to do better? To be more kind and more loving towards your spouse; to be more like we teach our children to be?

I'm so glad I've never personally had to think about these things regarding my parents. My parents are both 71 years old and just as in love as ever. I could NOT have had a better example. I know that is not the case for everyone. I consider myself blessed to have never witnessed any of the examples in the letter above. I hope that my boys are able to say the same when they are my age.

I've never understood why we choose one person to commit to for THE REST OF OUR LIVES  and then we proceed to show love, kindness and patience to everyone else in our lives more than we do to the person we chose to do life with. It just doesnt make sense. I understand that we spend a lot of time with our spouse and conflict is sure to arise but we need to rise above it. We need to be more like teammates and less like adversaries.

We all need reminders from time to time. My wife and I are no different than anyone else. What's important is that we are able to step back and re focus. My wife does a great job of that. She's not perfect, but she always steps back and tries to see things from my perspective and I appreciate that.

Okay, she's perfect. Who am I kidding?

Remember what is at stake here. Find your proper motivation. Remember why you chose your spouse. You picked each other for a reason (last time I checked we dont really do prearranged marriages). Regardless of what that reason was, we all deserve to be treated like a best friend. Our children deserve to be able to do as we do, not only as we say, and still be on the right path.

I will leave you with a quote from the wise philosopher Jackie Moon:
"Everybody love everybody!"

Let's all do better.
We can do it!
Don't just be.
Be Happy.

P.S. Unfortanetly, I cannot time travel. Just in case I had you convinced.
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  1. What a great reminder. And what a great question: Why do we sometimes treat our spouses worse than anyone else in the world? I know I'm guilty at times.

    1. It's certainly a struggle. Keep fighting the good fight my friend.

  2. I hope people read the whole blog and not just the first half. You make it sound like I hate your mother when just the opposite is true. I might have slipped up once or twice and hurt her feelings but I hope not.

    1. I think they'll get it Dad... at least I hope so. :)

  3. What a good post. No idea why we treat our spouses like this but we do. And it's so easily done. I know I did!! Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky

    1. Thanks Martyn.. I catch myself from time to time and I have to take a step back and re focus. Marriage is tough even if you are married to your best friend.

  4. Excellent post and a great reminder for all. Thank you for tossing your hat into the ring at the Party Under The Big Top! I hope to see you again next week!

    1. Thank you Mary. I had a busy week this week and had to miss out on #bigtopblogparty but I'll toss my hat back in next week.

  5. Wow! I am so glad that my children will not write this letter. Oh, we have our times, but we always talk it out. And we are best friends, we do almost everything together, and team up in the hard times. My heart aches for this little boy & his parents.

    1. Nikki, marriage can be so difficult. Sounds like you and I are both blessed with an awesome spouse to do life with. Communication is key. Your comment makes it clear that you understand that. Thanks for reading.

  6. A very creative way of getting across an important message. Reading the letter I was struck by how awful it would be to feel that way...thank you for the reminder. Now where is my husband? I have a huge hug for him!

    1. Go squeeze your hubby. I surely squeezed my wife after I wrote this. It is so important that we teach our kids how to love and respect each other. Reminders always help. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great week.