*This is a vicarious piece. Please read it with an open heart. Thank you.
I know you’re busy.
But, there is something I want you to know.
I’ve wanted to tell you, all my life, but the time was never “right.”
Maybe these tenuous times provoke me, today. I’m not sure what. I only know that, right now, I desperately believe that you deserve to know.
And, now, I am ready to tell you. When you are ready, you may listen.
When I appeared, coupled as one of your future parents, I was as naiive, gullible, clueless, innocent, and fragile as you have ever felt in your most fearful and anxious moments. I was also enraptured by belief, and hope, and imagination – just like you are, at your most radiant.
When I found out that you were about to enter my world, I experienced every emotion contained by a human.
You, however, were not responsible. If I felt excitement, you couldn’t know. If I felt fear, you were not its cause. If I was angry, you were not to blame.
When you were born, every tiny detail of your presence stopped my heart. I saw the extension of my better self.
Who were you?
Did I have any idea?
No. I did not.
Instead, you would come to embody my expectations, my hopes, my dreams, and my fears. And, I didn’t realize that you would feel all this. I really didn’t. And, you do not owe me your forgiveness.
As you grew, my image of you was formed in my individual mind. As your parent, I had a distinct perception of you.
I would also grow, with you, to experience expanding perceptions of you. And, as I observed you, and interpreted your behavior, I chose to define every aspect. You didn’t know this, did you. No; you did not. I hardly realized any of it, myself.
Eventually, as needs seemed to warrant, I would discuss my perception of you with your other parent. Sometimes, we came to agreement about you; in nearly equal measure, sometimes we did not.
What we did not fully grasp during our inevitable discussions was that you were distinct from our every perception. What we did not know was that we were imposing our interpretations of you, believing them to be accurate depictions of your every motivation and impulse to act. We were sure we knew your very thoughts. We were convinced. And, how so?
You were, after all, our very offspring; you lived, because we had also lived, and would not had we not. Yes; our egos fed our every belief.
How many years of your life, thus far, did we labor under this misconception? Can anybody know? Perhaps you could tell us. When was the moment that spoke to you? When did you say to yourself: “They don’t get me. Not at all.”
We aren’t sure how old you are, at this moment of your reading. Perhaps you have chosen to revisit this letter, years after it has been written; perhaps you have eagerly opened it, immediately upon receipt. Whichever the case, only you can determine how you will both react and respond to what is coming next.
Think about the last time you remember feeling a strong desire for yourself – a wish, an aspiration, a goal. Consider the emotions that came to bear upon that motivation. Were you energized with positive anticipation? Were you fearful of potential obstacles? Were you concerned about preventive forces?
Your experience of that desire is known to me, as well. Only, in my case, the desire was personal – to me, as an individual. Each of us has had them, distinct from the other – both myself, and your other parent. And, throughout your life thus far, every one of those desires has played out in your life.
You couldn’t have known. You were not responsible. And, you still are not.
Sometimes, those desires involved you directly. Perhaps we imagined that you would become, or accomplish, or reach some sort of life milestone, that would in some way either fulfill our own unfinished lives or mirror our own successes. And, maybe you can name a moment when you felt this happening to you. Maybe you made a major life choice, strongly influenced by a desire that was born in one of us.
Today, I am ready to acknowledge something. I speak to your soul, spirit, whatever moves you to be.
Today, I extract my ego from your world. This is a painful, yet liberating, act. I am embarrassed, humbled, and awestruck – by the realization, by myself, and by you.
I. acknowledge. you.
Thank you for breathing deeply of your right to inspire air. Thank you for exhaling all the poisons that try to press through. Thank you for being the soul that entered the body I was so graced to produce. I am honored to truly know you, even as I am known. May the illuminations that await us both be welcomed by our spirits, whole heartedly.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo
9/9/15 The thesis of this piece inspired by Kerry Alan Kruger. All rights those of the author, whose name appears next to the copyright symbol . All presumptions of alleged value aside, sharing permitted only by request, with author as source acknowledged. Thank you so much.