Dear Mrs. Weiner,
We don’t know each other, but I’ve been thinking about you lately. Wondering how you’re holding up.
Yes, you. Anthony Weiner’s mom. I’m concerned about you.
Can we talk, mother to mother?
You see, I have adult children, as you do, although none of mine has been involved in a sexting scandal, as far as I know. Nor have they embarrassed the hell out of me on an international stage. Not yet, anyway.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying my children are perfect, not at all. Are they wonderful human beings? Yes. Have they made poor choices in the past, mostly involving liquor consumption and sky diving? Yes.
But here’s the thing. We are meant to fall deeply in love with our children from the day they are born. I did, and I bet you did, too. Unconditional love. From their first uncertain steps to making the soccer team to graduating from college, our kids made us kvell over accomplishments both big and small.
Whether we should take credit for any of that is debatable, but admit it, every success made us glow knowing that we nailed the parenting gig.
Because we adore them unconditionally, we forgive them for their shortcomings. Kids are kids and make errors in judgment.
As parents, we hope they learn from their mistakes. It’s called growing up.
That’s why my heart goes out to you, Mrs. Weiner. Your son hasn’t grown up. He doesn’t get that it’s not all about him. That beautiful wife and son of his do not deserve the suffering that he has inflicted. But this is not your fault.
I know you love and support your son. Just between the two of us, though, be honest. Has he tested every last nerve?
If he were my son, that’s how I would feel.
My point is that whatever emotional roller coaster you’re on right now, please don’t allow parental guilt to be part of the ride. You raised him well. He has made you proud. But he screwed up, big time.
He did. Not you.
So continue to stand by your son, as any mother would do. But don’t tear your hair out wondering what you did wrong. Mothers have a tendency to blame themselves for their children’s missteps, you know.
Between you and me, I think there is a lot of sympathy out there for you, especially from other moms. Moms who can’t fully relate, but know what it feels like to suffer in the wings while a child is in free fall. To agonize when your child has let you down, really hard.
Most moms I know would give you a hug, Mrs. Weiner, and tell you to hang in there.
And I am one of those moms.