I work hard to be a good mom, but I'm not even in the top 25 of the moms I know. I'm that annoyingly loud mom. I've never even attempted to keep a baby book. I ska dance with my husband in the middle of stores when I get bored and make my kids want to die with embarrassment. And that's just the beginning.
But here are all these people online talking about how great I am. And what did I do? I said I unconditionally love my kid. Is that so rare people need to go out of their way to talk about how cool it is? I didn't think so, but now I am beginning to wonder.
Because the part that really breaks my heart are those messages in my inbox. The ones from kids whose parents have evidently failed at the most important part of parenting: Actually loving their kid. The notes are simple and devastating, and almost always end the same way: thanking me for loving my own child.
I write back to every single one, in my office when I should be working, in between checking email, and late at night on the couch when I should have gone to bed hours ago. Writing back isn't an option for me. I need to answer them. I need these kids to know I have read their words. That they deserve better. That they mean something to me.
It isn't all bad. A 14-year-old boy tells me he just came out to his parents this week. I write back to congratulate him and ask how it went. Then I sit with bated breath hoping he'll respond, and he pops back a minute later saying, "It went great!"
But unfortunately, the notes that make me smile and laugh are the minority. Most of them are like the one I am staring at right now. A heart broken kid who just desperately wishes his mom would just stop saying awful things to him. A kid who wishes his mom still loved him.
I'll figure out something to say to him, but I know it will not enough.
I want to live in a world where that silly little story I wrote is not special, but just an anecdote about a little boy and his love of a boy in a blazer.