A message to my fellow bumbling parents: you are totally welcome.
I know. You were prepared to hate my guts when your kid brought home a brightly colored, hand-written thank you note from my kid. How dare she browbeat her child into saying thank you in writing, you thought. And top it all off with an adorable photo of all the boys at the party? The nerve.
Hold your scorn, people, as well as any unnecessary urge you might have to reciprocate the next time your kid receives a birthday gift from my kid. I am hereby releasing you from doing so, unless you would have done so anyway. My actions were not an effort to show you up in any way.
Sure, your kid brought the hand-frosted thinga-me-jigs to the Halloween party with the Pinterest-worthy cake pops you decorated to look like cartoon spiders. Did I see you and raise you even a hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberry? Nope. My contribution was the bag of high fructose corn syrup-laden cookies I picked up last minute.
I am not retaliating for your Pinterest snacks with my card thing. I can even prove I’m not doing much to cultivate an art that is slowly going the way of the Samurai or the mastodon: the thank you notes have been sitting on my counter for at least four solid weeks, waiting for stamps and envelopes.
Thank you notes: a dying art. Still, they’re something I insist on from my kids (at least assuming we can get the task accomplished in less time than the half life of uranium*) because kids in general can be totally grabby pooh-heads when it comes to material goods or favors done on their behalf and I want them to take a minute to express gratitude every once in a while as an exercise in being human.
This doesn’t mean that when they actually finish said exercise that I will actually be able to put my hands on your address, or a stamp, or at least get him to put the card in his backpack to take to school and hand over to your child in a timely manner, so don’t get all twisted up trying to remember the last time you put pen to paper. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU, PEOPLE.
Well, except in that the cards are meant to say thanks for sending your kid over to my kid’s party with a gift. That part IS about you. Or your kid. Whatever.
So you can keep on doing the thing that you are good at and not worry about the bazillion other things you might be neglecting, and one day, your kid will teach my kid how to crochet or clean out the lizard cage or whatever it is that your family is sticklers for. In the meantime, here come the holidays with all the garbage I’m supposed to be cooking and sending and decorating, and I haven’t dealt with the leaves that are still laying about my yard, so keep in mind that I’m not over here trying to be all super mom in your face with my fancy, schmancy thank you cards.
What I am trying to do is produce adult humans that other adult humans can stand to be around. I’m not putting on airs. I don’t do a lot of crafty stuff. I haven’t organized our family photos. I have baby books for both kids I never took the time to fill out. Hell. I don’t know if either of them even brushed their teeth today.
So, if you don’t normally brow beat your children into writing thank you notes, please don’t start now. I’m not going to judge. We’re all in this together. United against the people who like to speculate on what portion of today’s problems are the collective fault of the way parents these days raise their kids. When we were kids these same people were probably all busy with their free-love-hippie-bra-burner-thing or anti-free-love-hippie-bra-burner-thing, but now they have nothing better to do than sit around judging us parents for the whole freaking state of the world.
But I? I am not judging you, fellow parent. I am not showing you up and I don’t think I’m better than you and just to prove it, I left those dang notes on the kitchen counter for a full four weeks. And for that, you are quite welcome.
And, by the way, did you notice the cards were orange, in keeping with the fall-ish Halloweenie thing we all have going on this time of year? That’s thematic.
So, you know, neener neener.
* Which I just looked up: the half-life of uranium that is. It’s 4.47 billion years. I should blog one day on the stuff I look up because I’m writing a blog. And then I’m going to blog about adult attention deficit disorder … because, oh hey, lookit! Is that the guy from Baywatch?
“What the heck is this ‘vote for me’ baloney?” Don’t worry about it. Voting for me only encourages me to post more stuff. And you can only vote for me once a day, anyway.
And if you do vote for me, God will save a puppy. So, for sure don’t vote if you hate puppies. #puppyhater.