You don’t know me, we have not met.
I have my undergrad in Communication Arts and my MFA in Creative Writing.
I have been published in literary magazines and nationwide, but I don’t find nearly enough time for it these days.
I have been happily married to my best friend and confidant for going on eleven years. We have four amazing children.
Our oldest is a model student, top of the state in test scores, teacher’s helper, all around amazing young boy.
Our second is a beautiful free spirit, equally as bright and helpful – (top of the behavior chart a whopping twelve times in the past two months.) She is a great help around the house with her two younger siblings – who are equally hysterical and delightful in their own ways.
But, then, I know you have heard of her. She drew the most beautiful Valentine for your daughter and they share a seat everyday on the bus.
My husband is in management. He works hard.
I own my own photography business. I work hard.
We do well. (Which, yes, did not come easily and it did take time and faith and many, many nights of praying for direction and blessing that I wasn’t even sure was coming our way. Until it did. God is good.)
Speaking of, we serve in various roles at our church. We spend most of our free time with our church friends and family.
You and your family are always welcome, to join us, at our church, in our home.
Which is, by the way, a wood-framed ranch house, built on the rails of a trailer.
Yes, in a trailer park.
If you met me in the store or at the library, or if I was hired to shoot your family portraits or an event that you are attending – you would never know it. I am normal. Our family is normal. We don’t wear pajamas to Walmart and my husband does not have a mullet.
Our neighborhood is quiet and friendly, with children chugging by on Power Wheels and kicking their legs to the sky on swing sets and dads mowing lawns.
I would venture to guess, pretty similar to your own, no?
Not a bad place to be.
Now, to the heart of it, why I am up at this hour, why I am writing a letter you will never even see.
You see, though I have not met you, I have heard your words, spoken through your kindergarten-aged daughter, to my kindergarten-aged daughter, to me.
I can’t come to your house, my mom doesn’t like the trailer park. (But you can come to MY house.)
And so, I felt compelled to write, to introduce myself, because clearly you haven’t a clue about us. My family is not our address and we are not defined by the name of our street or the size of our home.
(P.S. neither are you. Nor is anyone. Kind of wonderful and freeing now, isn’t it?)
And, of course, I would love to have my daughter over to your home for a play date, but I must tell her the truth, and I’m sure you understand. I don’t allow her to go to play at homes of people I do not know, with parents I have not met.
It’s nothing personal, and I would never disparage your family or suggest that there is anything amiss in your household. I simply prefer to meet the adults that my children will be spending time with, behind closed front doors.
And in the future, may I suggest saying such a thing to your own daughter – a simple I have to meet her parents first, rather than potentially planting seeds of prejudice in a young child’s mind, or risking hurting her free-spirited, bus-mate and kindergarten best friend (simply because of the “trailer park” neighborhood our love-filled, crayola scribbled, bunk bed sleeping and Disney movie watching, safe and cozy home has been built in.)
I would appreciate that, ever so much.
The Mom who said none of this to her daughter, but wrote it all here instead.