The Cartoon Parent Manifesto

I am a recovered drunk/addict who woke up from that lifestyle’s self-imposed coma one day and realized I wasted an IQ of 155 on trying to forget a childhood and teenage life that I had no idea was not going to be permanent. I realize, in many ways, that the last time I was sober, I was a child and I am a child again. I can feel it in the impatience I have to fix the mistakes I have made. But I also feel it in my childlike excitement and anticipation to learn and grow.  I feel it in my heart.

I can see, however, that you are looking at me in the exact same way I am looking at you, younger man in a suit with a briefcase.

Or working mom with the pearls around your neck climbing from the Lexus.

Or middle-aged couple directing the construction crew outside your beautiful new home.

I wish that I had your opportunities, your money. I wish I had done better before I became a mother. But we are not as different as it appears on the surface.

I see that glimmer in your eye when you watch my confidence float by you. When you see the guts it takes to stay eccentric in a world where we are expected to reproduce and assimilate. I am not saying you don’t reap benefits from the hard work you have done or the dreams you have had. In fact, your extra diligence in your youth has given you a chance to accomplish other goals, like the car and the house. But how much of your soul have you sold? The fact that we, as human beings, need to fit ourselves into only one box in order to fully enjoy our survival doesn’t seem fulfilling to me at all.

I have heard and felt you inner cries for help.

You tell me you have always wanted to dye your hair blue.

You say you always wrote in high school but insurance sales were more feasible.

You tell me with one look that you wish you didn’t have to commute to work and sit in a cube everyday.

You tell me with your scars that you, too, have battled addiction but don’t talk about it. Parents, especially, don’t do those things.

I came to where I am flying around Never Never Land for the past 15 years but I will not have my personality or my dreams be anything other than what they are: free and on my sleeve; colorful, like an elaborate cartoon. And I profess here and now that I will always be free. In fact, cleaning up my act over the last couple of years has only afforded me more freedom. This is a gift I will not squander.

This gift, I proclaim, is something I hope to share with others. I want your tiny cries from inside to become drum-beating battle cries from the mountain-tops. We are all human and we have all suffered, even if we have grown to have the good job and the nice car and the 2.5 kids. We should all feel that the earlier suffering will only promote growth and acceptance, not social damnation. There shouldn’t be a stigma against parents (and non-parents, for that matter) for trying things that seem out-of-the-box or admitting that they have made grave mistakes in the past. I think if this was slowly eradicated we could save families, children. We could save community. We could save love and, in doing all of this, ultimately save the world (trust me, right now, it needs saving in more ways than one).

That said, I also assert that I will fight fascism and hatred in all of its forms on the internet, in my words, on the streets, with as much diplomacy as possible while still maintaining my honest and outward opinions. These “principles” are anti-love, anti-growth, anti-human. That doesn’t make me political. Post-coma, I don’t think I am schooled enough to say that it is staunchly a political stance. This makes me a human being. And I will stick by that as I spread my message of freedom and openness. Of opportunities afforded to all. These ideals do not promote a world where we can be free to express where we have come from and where we want to go. These ideals keep us in the boxes, separate boxes, where we are encouraged to remain in order to benefit the few at the top.

Overall, I write this manifesto, if you will, to let you know that I see you, even if you don’t fully see yourself. I see your hearts. I see your true humanity. I encourage you to join me and will use my writing, my parenting, my knowledge, my experiences, and my heart to continue doing so. If these are things you are silently or outwardly passionate about, join me. If not, the door is always open when you decide that you are a human being and no one’s robot.

I will never be ashamed of who I am, what I desire, and where I come from and neither should anyone else. You are only the you that you are now once and the impact that you can make on the Earth in your short time here can grow exponentially if you let it.skeletormeme



One thought on “The Cartoon Parent Manifesto

  1. Pingback: Releasing PSAs and Shouting Stuff – A Memoir | I, Mother

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