Home » Dear Liam’s Mom,

Dear Liam’s Mom,

So Mac’s been in preK just shy of a month now.

He goes twice a week.

And we missed Monday because we were at the beach.

However, the Monday before that, I was sitting in the parent conference beside Liam’s mom.

I refer to her as Liam’s mom because I don’t know her name.

He son’s name is Liam.

And during a break, I made an absent-minded crack about how my Husband likely thought I was a type A psycho, control freak. . .(Correctly).

And she said, “At least you can joke.”

“Of course, we joke, ” I chuckled.

We joke a lot – and not in a derogatory way.

And then I looked at her.

Her eyes were welling with tears.

“I can’t joke with my Husband.  I can’t explain anything.  He just shuts me down and refuses to listen.”

WHAT?  

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE?  

OUT OF ALL THE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD, YOU PICKED ME TO CONFIDE IN?  I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOUR NAME.  

FUCK.

THIS FEELS MESSY AND I HAVE ENOUGH MESSES.

I try to summon the neutral facial expression I can manage after 3 drinks and shut up.

So.  Much.  Emotional.  Baggage.

I am NOT the bell hop, Lady.

She goes on and on about how her husband refuses counseling.  And the expense of a separation.  And how she still loves her husband but he makes her feel hurt and unheard.

“Have you guys tried talking to someone?” I ask (despite her blabber), feeling sweat rolling down my back, jostling Teddy.

“He won’t go.” She sniffled.  “but I’m going on my own in a couple of weeks.  I hired a sitter.”

“Good!” I say a little too emphatically, “The counselor will be able to help you through this in the most constructive way possible.  See the counselor.  It will help.”

But here’s what I really wanted to say:

I’m sorry your marriage sucks.

More specifically, I’m sorry I have to hear about it. It’s making me uncomfortable as hell.  I don’t even know your name.

But something about her willingness to be so vulnerable in front of me made me somehow invested.

Invested?

BECAUSE I’m in awe of her.

I mean, I’d never open up to anyone, let  alone a practical stranger, the way she had.

Why did she do that?

Her obvious sadness and angst hung heavy over me for days.

I wondered if I should say nothing?  Write something?

Her angst was starting to make me feel anxious.

Finally I mentioned it to Chris.

“Does she not have any friends?  Why?  Why did she tell me?”

“Um do you have any friends, Deni?” Chris asked.

“Of course I have friends,” I snorted.

“Any friends you can reach readily?” Chris pressed.

“Well, I could text them.  They’d respond.”  I answered, face feeling hot.

The truth is, I have amazing friends but being parent especially a stay at home parent can be isolating.

“Well, there’s your answer,” Chris mumbled through mouthfuls of the dinner I prepped.

Right.

Sometimes you’ll talk to ANY ADULT.

Sometimes you just need an outlet.

Sometimes, life seems really complicated and your safety net feels thin. . .

So for Liam’s Mom, and every other Parent – EVERY PARENT:

You are amazing.  You are a role model.  You are stronger and more powerful than you can possibly imagine.  And if you are not getting what you need in any aspect of your life, do the hard work necessary to get it.  Get peace, confidence, happiness, love, respect.  Believe that you deserve it.  Live in a way that you earn and offer it.

Your children are watching.