The Parent She Deserves (Day 22)

(Day 22 of NaPoWriMo.)

your child deserves better than a ball of barely contained rage for whom the first tremor of whine building in the back of her throat lets loose the cruelty you swore when you moved out of your own parents’ house you were leaving behind with all the baseball cards and the broken-spine paperbacks in dusty boxes you’ll never retrieve

she deserves healthy snacks cut into appropriate portions and waiting for her on the kitchen counter when she walks in the door with a book bag full of homework you’re happy to help with and permission forms you’re glad to fill out and she deserves a dinner of her favorite foods prepared from scratch using organic materials and ready the moment her homework is done and in an ideal world she would sit next to you after dinner and you would read to her from T.S. Eliot and she would understand without explanation because of all the hours you spent reading to her as a baby and she would never want the television on or a cup of soda or a bowl of Lucky Charms and you would get up with her at dawn and plan adventures and tell each other stories and you’d never yell at her to Be Quiet or Go Away because if you were a real parent if you loved her like you’re supposed to she would recharge you and make you feel whole and you would smile more often and sing “Moon River” every night as she drifts off to sleep and you should definitely hold her more because she’s growing up so fast and then it’s all over and she’ll hate you for what you actually are which is a disappointment

until she has her own kids who deserve better and realizes that you tried and that everyone is a disappointment in some way if you look hard enough and maybe on one of those nights where her son is on his back screaming in the grocery store because he wants a Crunch bar and he can’t have it she’ll understand that none of us get the parents we deserve and she will forgive you


About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in best-laid plans, family, fear, NaPoWriMo, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Parent She Deserves (Day 22)

  1. M. Alden says:

    Very insightful, powerful piece. It hurts when your best is not enough for someone else. You encapsulated that inward turmoil perfectly here.

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