Dear Clair,

I woke up today in a bliss... Josh - the pug - was happy, jumping up and down ready for our weekly adventure down at the park. I took a shower, ate this huge slice of the sweetest melon for breakfast, brushed my teeth and opened the door.

I was surprised to find Mark, my clever and ever growing grandson at my doorstep. He was wearing what seemed to be his pajamas, sitting there, all alone, sleeping with his head carefully placed on his backpack. I thought to myself: "why the fuck is Mark wearing this ugly shirt?", and then: "Why the fuck is Mark sleeping at my doorstep?".

I rushed Josh inside, and I have to tell you something... he wasn't happy. Then I woke Mark up. He asked me to come inside... I said ok, grabbed him some clean clothes and a towel and told him to take a shower before eating breakfast. I made him some pancakes and a tall glass of O.J. , just the way I always do when he sleeps here, since he was two.

Mark came out of the shower clean and with a nice shirt, he ate his breakfast and thanked me for it just like he does since he was two. I think the first words he ever said were "Thank You". And I guess this is something I should congratulate you for, well done! (patting your back).

Then I asked him to help me with the dishes, he did. He even washed them 'cause he knows how much I hate that part. When the kitchen was clean-ish, I called Josh and we went to the park. We were almost there when Mark was finally ready to tell me what happened. I guess he likes how I don't ask him what's wrong, I just wait for him to tell me if he wants to. And he wanted to.

Mark told me that he went home yesterday, after school, just to find his room in a huge mess. It seemed, in his own words: "like the world had exploded on top of my stuff", and I agree with him, that sounds bad. He continued to talk to me, explaining how he went down to the kitchen to ask you if you knew what happened, and how he found you sitting at the table with his tablet in one hand, smoking a cigarette and drinking some "yellow shit", as he described. Don't worry, I asked him politely not to say "shit" while we are outside. I know how muh you care for apparences.

I won't continue to describe what he said here 'cause I'm sure that, even if a ted bit inebriated, you still recall what happened. By that time we were already at the park and sat at that bench you liked, the one you carved your name on when you were 15, the one I paid a thousand bucks to the city so they wouldn't replace it with a new one when you were 22 (I bet you didn't know that). I let Josh play with the other dogs, and I continued to listen to the most horrific story my grandson ever told me.

So here we go Clarice (yeah, I used your name, now you should be worried). I thought I had raised you to be this understanding, selfless, competent and successful individual, and If someone asked me yesterday I'd tell this person that you were all of that plus an amazing daughter, a beautiful wife and a fascinating parent. I really thought that, so that's why I called you at the park, in front of mark, to ask you your version of the story. And I was bewildered when you confirmed everything.

When you hang up on me I thought you were completely crazy. But Mark told me you were like this since "he was old enough to understand", and that you "acted like the perfect person" in front of me because you "couldn't handle having to explain that things are not perfect for everyone". Guess what? I know that.

I am guilty of trying to make you believe that I was completely fine while you were growing up. I am guilty of not telling you that I hated going trick or treating on Halloween, of making you believe that the only thing I couldn't give you was a pony, even if getting you that new purse meant that I had to miss some payments of the car. I am guilty of not telling you that I didn't sell the car "because I preferred to walk to work everyday".

Yes honey, I am also guilty of not telling you that you hamster died, even if I had to replace him so you wouldn't cry. Guilty of not asking you to skip one or two birthdays so we could go on a family trip instead. Guilty of having you believe that I didn't like some of your boyfriends, or those weird clothes you wore in your teens.

The thing is Clarice, I thought that by doing all of that I was taking suffering out of your life. I knew I couldn't control some things, but I could prevent others, and by doing so... maybe, you would grow up to be better person. Apparently I am also guilty of not telling you that raising you was a horrible task at times, but one that I took pride on going through.

And now, here I am, writing an e-mail to tell you some of the things I couldn't before. All because you are not strong enough to do all of this things to my grandson, even though you are in a better position to do so. Mark is a wonderful kid, and he has always been one... and now I'm gonna do for him everything I did for you. I don't believe that finishing raising him will be a horrible task, I believe it will be one full of wonders, as raising you were for most of the time.

I believe I'll be as proud of him as I was of you until yesterday, and as I'll continue to be. I'll just have to cross some parts off of my description. So you go my child, go and be that competent and successful individual I raised you to be... just do it from afar, so Mark and I don't have to se you.

If you ever change, call me.

Love,

Dad

A note from the writer: This is fucking fiction, just so you know.