Dear Mom and Dad,
You’re driving me up the fucking wall. I keep repeating my favorite mantra; “as far as parents go, they don’t get much better than mine.” I’ve got empirical evidence that would confirm that, as emotional and financial providers, you did good. I don’t think I could do any better. This is why I’m rethinking having children altogether. If you did your very best, and I still don’t want to speak to you right now, that must mean that all children are ungrateful shits. Seriously, I don’t know what other conclusions to draw from this.
Having said that, you two need to accept the fact that I am an independent, grown-ass woman. I realize that after 24 years of molding and shaping you were hoping I’d have more direction and discipline. I realize my indecision and doubts scare the hell out of you. They scare the hell out of me too. But trying to coax me into leading the life you envisioned for me is not helpful. There is a difference between what I want and what you want for me. I need you to both to understand and respect that.
Last night I had a dream that I was driving Mom’s convertible without a seatbelt. I swerved into the left lane without looking and got stuck between an oncoming car and the car behind me. The car I was driving was crumpled like an accordion. I was able to jump out safely. Nobody was hurt. I wasn’t shaken up by the crash. I wasn’t worried about being arrested. But, when I was telling Mom what happened, I purposely didn’t mention the seatbelt. I knew if I admitted I wasn’t wearing one, that that would be seen as having caused the accident. The thing was, it had nothing to do with the seatbelt. I would have crashed regardless. It was just a bad maneuver.
You two are the seatbelt. Your function is to keep me from flying through the windshield if I crash. But, you can’t control how I drive. You’re not going to stop me from behaving recklessly. You can’t protect me from other people driving alongside me. Most importantly, if I had been restrained in my dream, I would have been crushed. Not being tied down meant I could escape safely. I know… that sounds ridiculous, but for me it’s true. I don’t want to be held back. I don’t want your advice, I don’t want your money, I don’t want your blessing. All I want is for you to recognize that this is my car and I don’t need any backseat drivers. This is my road to navigate. You two can come for a ride if and when I start loading in the car-seats. Until then, enjoy the fact you’ve upgraded from a volvo to a two-seater mini (with Maddie strapped to the roof).
Love, your daughter, Lili