Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]

let us be the first parents to not screw up

Hi Finn. Hi, you. Love you in the Harry Potter glasses your uncle gave you. You've also recently sussed out smiling for the camera. That's the way, sugar! Leave no square millimeter of enamel hidden. And everyone, behold the view I get when my boy's heading in for a smooch. Ideally I'd like his face to remain within three inches of my face at all times. He also smells good.

So, I don't mean screw up like in the small ways we have already screwed up nine million times and will screw up thirty trillion more before we're dead. I don't mean that. I mean that I was just thinking the other day that the possibility exists that we can hurt him. We can do something, knowingly or unknowingly, that makes him feel smaller inside.

It hit me - boof - in the gut, this possibility. We could bestow on this tiny man that we love more than anything some creepy, slow burning gift of self-doubt or self-loathing or shame or something else that we don't even know to watch out for. We, by not knowing ourselves properly, can slice off little pieces of his well-being day by day.

Don't get me wrong. So far I think we're doing pretty well. Nobody can accuse us of not loving Finn. We shower him with love and we laugh all the time and we keep the small things small and the big things big and we're fairly sure we know which is which. I'm not crippled with self-doubt about our parenting. We're all right. We're good.

But chances are good that we're missing something because most parents do their best and feel this way and love their children and try not to skip the big beats. And most people have some kind of goddamn wound courtesy of Mom and Dad. So, the math, do it and weep.

Wish us luck. We really want to crack this thing. It's our Apollo mission. Let it not be the one that ended up with the Tom Hanks movie.