Open Letter: To My Friends Without Kids
To my friends without kids,
Thank you. Many parents praise others like themselves for their efforts, though too often they forget you. You are the hand I reach to when mine is too full to bear the weight at all hours. You comprise the village necessary to raise a child.
You remind me that I am not only a parent but a person. Whether we met prior to my becoming a parent or afterwards, you remind me of my humanity. It is easy to become absorbed in diapers, daycare and nap times. Friends — especially those without kids — provide a much-needed respite from the day to day of parenthood while still respecting what must come first. A friend like you makes me a better parent.
You keep things fresh and in perspective. When you encounter a full diaper or a scraped knee, you appear somewhat caught off guard because most likely you are. Your eyes fill with wonder at each triumph of my little ones and that is not something that I take for granted.
Unlike those a bit longer in the tooth in the parenting universe, you do not leap at the opportunity to tell me what difficult times are to come, rather you work through them with me in real time. The lifestyle of a parent is hard (understatement of the year perhaps) and you acknowledge that.
I close my eyes at night, sleeping a bit better because I know you’re there. I am a single parent. I am a widowed parent. I am a parent who needs the help that you provide. You are my nanny. You are my child’s teacher. You are a part of the village it takes to raise a child.
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