April 24, 2017

Dear Baby,

Hi! So stayed up WAY too late last night watching this Netflix show called 13 Reasons Why. Since both Netflix and the show will probably be relics by the time you read this, here’s the gist. Netflix is a system that you can watch curated TV on and the show is a new series on Netflix (they make their own series sometimes.)

K, caught up? Cool. So this show was the latest and greatest trend in TV shows and was about this high school aged girl who kills herself and then post mortal releases a series of 13 tapes explaining why she committed suicide and what drove her to such a dark place. Each tape focuses on a different person who contributed to a particular miserable event culminating in a way-too graphic scene of her slitting her wrists in a bathtub.

So first and foremost before I go any further – I think the obvious point to make is that suicide is NEVER the answer. It is, without a doubt, the most selfish and disgusting act a person can commit and if you think the answer to your problems is to make everyone’s lives around you fucking miserable forever, you are wrong. I will raise you to always believe that things and people can change so if you find yourself hating your life, I hope you can come back to the lessons of change and make the ones you need to make before doing something really fucking dumb.

Anyways. I think that the reason this show hit so close to home and why I feel like I want to talk about it with you is that it’s basically everyone’s high school experience. Bullying and being bullied. Girls and boy. Sex and sexuality and cliques. On top of that, even though at the time it will seem like I am just a ridiculous idiot, I know that your brain in high school makes you feel like every single thing is THE BIGGEST thing you could ever face when in hindsight, most of it is just dumb. Fights with friends will seem catastrophic and then 10 years later you won’t even remember that person’s name. That’s just how it goes and you won’t know until you are in it and then out of it.

But the show did a great job of showing how little and big things can hurt from a fight with your best friend to a sexual assault. From an untrue rumour being spread about you to being called “hot”, a seemingly innocent and complimentary statement that makes you an object and less of a person. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there and so each episode was incredible real. I’ve been the bully, the bullied and on the giving and receiving end of all kids of events and words. I even think it’s pretty common to have the fleeting teenage angst ridden thoughts of “would everything be better if I wasn’t around.”

Yes, the show’s victim had a long series of truly escalating and unfortunate events happen to her but not necessarily more or less than anyone I went to school with/ knew.

I made me think a lot about having a kid and being an adult and no longer having the perspective I once did to afford you the space to communicate how you feel. By the time you are in high school and going through all this shit, I will be so much more far removed from the way it felt to be involved in that shit that I may not give you the ears you need or the answers you want. I may not get it.

I mean, I hope that because I was kind of a shit kid and did most of the stupid things I can fear you doing, I will relate more but still – we didn’t have social media, cell phones, or real access to internet. And like the generation before us, we will be slower sexually and life wise than you will be. Development speeds up even though it seems the same.

So this whole rant is just to say that no matter what, where, how and why I am here and I will LISTEN. I will not just hear you and the words you are saying, I will LISTEN to you. I will understand you or do my fucking best job trying. I can’t promise not to judge or be mad or sad about decisions you might make and things that might happened but I can assure you that in spite of any feelings I have, I will support you and love you no matter what. I will respect you as a person and I will always be on your team. You can come to me about literally anything.

And so to make sure these lines of communication are always flowing, I will also promise to tell you everything. There are no secrets in this family and nothing that I will keep from you or hide away. If my true expectation is for you to trust and confide in me (which, to be clear, it is) I will show you the same in kind. Trust and respect are a two way street and I want to show you how much I have for you by sharing my life with you so that you can share yours with me.

I thanked my lucky stars last night that you are still so little and sweet and that I don’t have to deal with an asshole teenaged girl (sorry) right now but in lieu of the fact that I hope that day comes when I do, let’s try and get through it all as best we can together. K?




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