Thank you for doing the hard and tired and thankless work
of raising the next generation.
Thank you for competing with iPods and iPhones and iEverythings
to make sure your kids know how to look people in the eye
and possibly even know how to sing
some of those power ballads we grew up with.
Thank you for doing the brutal, exhausting chores that swamp
your everyday in the name of caring for tiny humans.
Thank you for enjoying them. For taking the time to share them
with the rest of us, we non-human-makers,
because not having kids doesn’t mean not loving kids;
and not having kids doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in the stunning work
of raising a human that you’re doing today.
Despite all the pressures and glances and mommy teams
that confuse the shit out of us because we are not privy to them,
and all the birthday parties we show up to with the wrong gifts,
and despite our believing that we can go in the bouncy castles when
they’re for the kids, dammit.
Thank you for waking up and taking care
of the guardians of the world circa 2034.
Thank you for giving a shit.
Thank you for showing those tiny humans of yours what it is to be fully alive.
Thank you for loading them up with possibilities and the sense
of their own potential.
Thank you for sweeping up the Cheerios your little ones leave
like Hansel and Gretel trails in dressing rooms, even though
you didn’t sleep last night and you’re currently adrift in apathy.
Thank you for holding your baby close and remaining kind and gentle
to that sweet soul even though you’re at your wit’s end and this is the eighth
tantrum in the last twenty minutes in the middle of the mall food court.
Thank you for stretching your soul in all the ways parenting shapes it.
Thank you for letting yourself be changed by all the ways love drips it
in the guise of parenthood.
And a little secret, from the outside? You’re doing it right. All of it.
Even the pizza at 9pm, even the drive-thru meltdowns,
even the iPad mornings so you can get 8 minutes of silence.
You’re a fucking wonder to those of us who don’t have kids.
You’re stepping up, you’re doing the best you can,
you’re putting your own needs behind the needs of another,
and you’re doing the best you goddamned can.
You’re a treasure. So if you can bear it,
let the mommy guilt go and let yourself believe
in your own mighty call to motherhood —
the tiny voice hellbent on remaining true
to all that you are
while holding the potential for all your kids can be
in the same breath.
Because I’m not interested in your mommy guilt.
In all the ways you’re doing it wrong
or fucking your kids up
or otherwise failing at life.
I’m not interested in commiserating about how terrible
your first-world life happens to be
at this moment.
I’m interested in progress,
in finding the lessons here (and here and here and here),
in what you’re learning and how it applies.
I’m interested in what you hear when the quiet comes
and you are left with only your breath to guide you.
I’m interested in what you know is true;
those things you forget when that magazine comes or
you click on those links.
I’m interested in what you know when you’re not worried
about the size of your thighs
or the state of your organic produce
or the world that’s going to hell in a handbasket.
I’m interested in what you’re going to change.
I’m interested in the problems you’re going to solve.
The actions you’re going to take.
The ways you are going to outsmart your current predicament,
if it’s a predicament at all.
I’m interested in wallowing
when your heart is being broken open by loss
or pain or more than you can possibly bear in the next three lifetimes.
Otherwise, I’m interested in being the change.
In making solutions and skipping the drama.
Let’s live it — all of it, every minute — without wasting our minutes
on what the world thinks of us or whether
Oreos are really vegan
we’re worthy of our dreams.
Because we’re worthy.
Each one of us.
So tell me about the dream you don’t feel worthy of,
and I’ll hold your face in my hands and tell you
it’s the most beautiful fucking dream I’ve ever known
and then I’ll do everything in my power
to help bring it to life.
Tell me your deepest wishes and I will show you
the secret cove beyond calorie counts and Facebook feeds
where you are perfectly capable of doing
exactly what it is you’re meant to do in this lifetime.
Photo // YUP, that’s my Mom — by Jon Canlas