It’s taken me a lot of therapy to get where I am today.
Everyone warned me that kids don’t come with instructions and, of course, they were right. But I’ve been doing this parenting gig for three years now, and I have to be honest: Kids don’t require many instructions. They need food, love, and naps.
Grown people, on the other hand.
They can really drive you bonkers. Adults are the real trouble. Maybe they should come with instructions.
Alas, they don’t. Which is why I started going to therapy. (Best choice I ever made, for the record.)
I must have logged hundreds of hours at that proverbial baggage claim, trying to understand the people who have hurt or angered me in the past, learning how to fully process things, “feel all the feels” as they say these days, and then move forward with life.
Basically, learning to let things go.
And it turns out, I’m pretty dang good at it. I can do all kinds of mental gymnastics to understand somebody’s position so that I can, in turn, forgive them. But y’all, there is one group of folks whom I will never understand, never empathize with, and, frankly, never forgive.
And those are the grade-A jerks who ignore the existence of my children.
Sadly, according to my therapist, this is fairly common. And how these jerks live with themselves, I’ll never know.
I probably shouldn’t waste energy on something like this, but there are words that need to be said, and today I feel like saying them.
So to the people in my life who disappeared on me after I had kids, I have to ask you one thing:
What the hell is wrong with you?
Do you seriously think you can claim to love someone for years — their entire life, even — and then ghost when they become a parent? Do you think I will believe for one second that you ever cared about me, when my heart resides in my babies and you completely ignore their existence?
Look, if you didn’t want to be a part of my life, I could understand that. I’m a very flawed person, and there are plenty of reasons to ghost on me. My humor is obnoxious, I’m perpetually late — the list goes on and on. But you stayed for all of that.
You stuck around as a friend, as a family member, through the good times and the bad. Then you got incredibly unsticky right about the time my firstborn came. Why?
To be honest, it hurt at first. I wanted nothing more than to share my joy with you. To introduce you to this incredible tiny human that I was certain you would fall in love with. Look at what I made!
But phone calls weren’t returned. Visits remained unscheduled. And my goodness, I’m not asking you to stop what you’re doing and make a scrapbook of my children, but just a little interest would have been nice — some acknowledgement that they are part of my world. They are my children, after all. And you supposedly “loved me.”
No, I’m not hurt anymore. I am done feeling sorry for myself because the truth of the matter is this: If you are too self-absorbed to realize the joy these children bring to the world, that’s your loss.
And it’s a huge loss.
You aren’t here to know, so let me fill you in on some of what you’ve missed: My son’s laugh is like a bell. His hugs alone can fill your cup with joy and leave it overflowing. His sense of humor is sharp as hell. There is nothing as pure or hilarious as a toddler’s well-landed joke, and he’s a miniature comedic genius.
And my daughter? She is a pistol. A pint-sized ball of energy who is discovering the beauty of this world, one light socket at a time. Her tiny footsteps pitter-patter around our hardwood floors, and I swear that sound is music to a tired soul. Frankly, if you are comfortable sketching out on that, well, that is a little sad.
If you checked out of my family right when our children arrived, you left the show at intermission. You grabbed your overpriced souvenir T-shirt and peaced out of our friendship when the best was yet to come. And I’m sorry for you. I really am.
Because these kids are incredible, and they have so much love to give.
It’s taken a good bit of therapy to arrive at this point, but I think I finally know where I am. So here it is, folks…
To the former friends, to the family members who ghosted on the greatest kids in the entire word:
If you don’t care enough to get to know these children that you are missing out on, you don’t deserve them. Simple as that.
And I hope you have a nice life. Seriously.
Because we sure as heck will.