Chapter Two: Janie


In the spirit of the tradition that my mother started, I’m writing this letter on the day you turn 18, the day you take over the family.

But some traditions don’t need to be followed. Like my mother’s tendency towards over-apology.

Let me tell you something, B. My mother thought she messed up my entire childhood. She thought she was a horrible parent. And, in some ways, maybe she was. But not because she was “selfish,” or whatever else she often said. But rather because she refused to kick my deadbeat, a**hole of a father out the house.

I saw the way he talked to her. I saw the way he skipped work, then mocked her for making money with her art. I heard their arguments over the coffee shop, discovered why Mom never followed through. She married my father too soon, settled too soon because she was desperate for some affection and attention and a family.

I was nothing like that. I loved my mother; but B, I am nothing like her. There’s a reason I waited until long into my adulthood to have you. There’s a reason why I waited so long to marry, why we I insisted on dating, why I insisted on standards.

I hope you appreciate that, B. Appreciate what it means to have a mother who actually cares about herself. I hoped that rubbed off on you a little bit, since hardly any other aspects of my common sense did. I hope appreciate that I was an amazing mother-and when you look back on your childhood, I hope that you regret that you never took my excellent parenting to heart.

If you don’t regret it now, you’ll regret it by the end of my story. You’ll understand everything that I did right before having you, and while raising you. You’ll see.

Your Mom,



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