Illustration by Kalah Allen

Dear Child of Mine: You are an asshole. I am your mother. When I shoved you out of the car at the welfare office (the first time you got pregnant), and sped off, I actually didn't go anywhere. I parked and watched you the entire time. For two fucking minutes you stood in the real world and were so scared. Upon my return you screamed, "How could you do that to your own kid?" I'll tell you how: I don't want you to be an asshole. You don't even understand that the welfare office is easy as fuck compared to the pains of childbirth, and keeping the child safe and warm. (Not to mention the other daily efforts parents put into their children so they won't turn into assholes.)

Do you understand that every fucking day you've existed on this earth, I've worried about every choice I've ever made as a parent? And if that choice would somehow fuck up your life? This shit is exhausting, and it's only been 19 years so far.

I am not perfect and, accordingly, make it a point not to judge others. I am currently not judging your boyfriend—even during your child's birth, when he had to abandon his job of holding your leg because his "arm was tired." I simply traded spots with him and did the job—because that's the way shit works. When your boyfriend eagerly tells your parents that his interests are "riding four-wheelers and catching a buzz," that means the guy is undeniably a fucking idiot.

Listen, kid: I love you, and I respect you... but you don't know shit. And that's okay—just stop being an asshole about it.—Anonymous