Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dear Fat Doctor

Fat Doctor
wrote a post a while back where she worries that her darling toddler son will some day be embarrassed by her weight problem. I meant to comment, I meant to write her, instead I'll put up a blog letter.

First a disclaimer: all kids are different, they come in assorted shapes, sizes, and temperments and I've learned quickly and painfully that a wonderful kid can become a particularly difficult kid-- this with a six week countdown in my family until such kid moves half way across the country to start college. Last year, I thought I'd have a nervous breakdown when he left, this year, he's making it a bit easier to say goodbye, though I'm well aware that I still may have a very difficult time with this departure. There are more difficult kids, there are easier kids. So with two teenagers, and with many friends (and patients) with teenagers, let me write a letter to our dear friend Fat Doctor in the blogosphere.

Dear Fat Doctor,

Please don't worry that your son will be embarrassed by your weight. He won't be. And because he's a boy, he probably won't care what you wear. Kids don't worry so much about what their mothers look like, oh, except for girls, who are known to yell: You Can't Go Out Looking Like That! Especially not where their friends might on the same planet.

While you don't need to worry about your son being embarrassed by your weight, there are a few things he will be embarrassed about.
  • Your mere existence.
  • Every word you say.
  • Especially words that date you. Gosh darn is probably not real cool.
  • References to TV shows, movies, politics, or events from the days of old.
  • The music you listen to.
  • The songs you hum. Oh, gosh, don't hum.
  • The gestures you make.
  • The things you say about him, no matter how glowing. Don't talk about him. Ever.
  • The fact that you greet his friends. Do you really need to ask how they are and interrogate them about what they are doing and what they'd like to drink?
  • The fact that you are not invisible.
  • Your ideas. Especially if you express them.
  • Oh, and your core beliefs, what ever they are, they are embarrassing.
  • Your expectations of him.

This is only a partial list, but Son won't care about your weight. I hope this helps you sleep better.

With kind thoughts. By all means, continue to enjoy the next 10 wonderful years.


Fat Doctor said...

*sniffle sniffle*

Shucks, woman, you made my day.

Wait, does the work "shucks" date me?

pemdas said...

This post really struck a chord with me. It took me back to those days of "I'm too busy to see you this weekend. I have plans with my friends"

I don't live with my daughter -- she lived with her other mom (my ex) (the kid has more mothers than the average -- you know how those lesbian moms can multiply ;) . I saw the kiddo whenever her schedule allowed.

During her high school years, I started falling off her calendar. I knew it was a natural part of growing up -- for whom, I'm not quite sure :)

Its been two years since she left the area to go to college. OMG! What a change. She's this (pause) adult. When she's home, she calls me to see if I wanna 'hang out'. When she's at school, she calls to see how I'm doing.

IMHO if you can make it through the middle school and high school years, you will be rewarded for your patience and 'sticktioittiveness'.


Bardiac said...

And that problem teenager going off to college? At some point, s/he's going to meet a friend's parents, and those parents are going to be impressed by how friendly, polite, and articulate s/he is, and wonder why their own kid is such a pain in the rear. But you'll never hear about it because their kid won't tell yours, and even if s/he did, yours won't tell you.

And their college professors are probably going to have nice chats in the hallway with them both, and when they graduate, will tell you how proud you should be of your kids.

(Only, please tell me it's more than six weeks to go!)

shraddha said...

I guess i have long way to go.....

But i do feel like this way with my husband.I feel he might be embarrassed of me.Because of my weight, my career not going so great(non existant presently) and even the way i pronounce words etc.

shoot i am feeling depressed i guess.

Anonymous said...

I'm just lucky i guess. Both my sons hum and sing every where they go. They're muso's which is probably the only reason they can and do get away with it.

I have so loved this post. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The wonderful kid needs to do what he is doing so that he can make that move halfway across the country. Which you know and which, given the choice between present circumstance and a life of him in your house into his or no deal?

Anonymous said...

Hey fat doctor. I have a teenage daughter who could care less about what I wear. She tells me I am fine just the way I am and it gives me a boost because I think she is being honest. She is an unusual girl. I wouldn't worry about the toddler now. Just enjoy him wanting to be "upsa-mydown" (my daughter's words for upside down when she was two) These years go by too fast to worry about that.