Dear Mom,

Dear mom,

You were right. I’m sorry. Thank you.

You were right. It’s not until I’m knee deep in my own parenting journey that I stop and reflect on your experiences raising three kids. I distinctly remember you saying, “One day, when you have your own kids, you’ll understand”. Those words fell flat on the selfish child who was barely listening, but now I really do understand. Raising kids takes a lot of work! We’re tired, we make mistakes, we’re frustrated, emotional, and feel challenged all the time. How is it possible to love your kids so much one second, then want to be far, far away from them the next, only to feel incredible guilt for letting your mind even go there? Becoming a parent completely rewires your brain and adjusting to “the new normal” is a constant struggle. I get it now.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I was a challenging child and an angry, rebellious teen. “Because I said so” was the trigger I needed to make your week miserable and now I find myself uttering the same words to my kids. I’m sorry you were caught in such an impossible situation, raising your kids in a foreign land, barely speaking the language. You relied on me to communicate to the world and I resented you for it. While I should have understood that families are supposed to help each other, I shamed you for your ignorance. I now understand.

Thank you. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and always providing for us. Through your actions you taught us that working hard pays off, that families always stick together, and not to sweat the small stuff. I learned that life isn’t always fair, that it’s up to me to make the changes I need, and to always respect others. I understand the value of growing my own vegetables, cooking at home with my kids, and sharing whatever I have with others. You did your best and I am grateful for you.

And while I barely have the time for self-reflection these days, I’d like to think I’m a good person and I am doing a fairly good job raising my two boys. You were instrumental in shaping the man I am today so again, dear mom, you were right, I’m sorry, and thank you.

Love always,
Your son Frank

As appears in the May 2018 issue of Mom and Caregiver magazine.

Frank Emanuele, DCL Director