An Open Letter to My Mom

To Mom It May Concern,

Well, well, well. Another year has gone by, and again, I find myself incredibly irritated. I write this letter to convey my complete and utter disappointment with the service rendered up to this point. I will expand upon the above in the following letter, and hope that the powers that be will take my comments under consideration…

Where do you get off? thinking I’d want to spend a day with the person who brought me into this world? It’s like, I barely get to see you as it is, and now you want to spend time with me to hear about how things are going in my personal life. It’s ridiculous! You don’t even update me on your trials and tribulations, glossing over your issues to focus on me, my brother’s, and our partners’. What gives??

You know – you’ve got some nerve, preparing me for the life I’d face and giving me tools to survive. If I wanted to be confident and capable when problems come my way, don’t you think I would have asked? How do you think it makes me feel, to know that any obstacle is really just that, an obstacle and not a barrier? It feels like I could accomplish anything!

How dare you instill me with a vast and deep knowledge and understanding of Judaism and what it means to me? Now I go about my life with a comfort and assuredness in my Jewish identity and how it influences my day-to-day life. I mean, come on! Now I have to pass these beliefs, traditions, and values on to MY children. Alas, another burden to carry.

What were you thinking spending all of that time money and effort on investing in my future? Did you really think that all those years of Jewish day school, afternoon school, undergraduate studies (not to mention the support every time I went to Israel, totaling over 18 months) would serve me? Well, I’ve got news for you… It did!

Why I oughtta give you a piece of my mind. Especially because somehow I still manage to take you for granted, and miss opportunities to thank you for all that you’ve done to me. In fact, I’d note how the tables have turned, now that I finally begin to glimpse the times that maybe I’ll be supporting you, instead of you endlessly investing your compassion love, and time into me.

I just thought you should know…


#2 Son

Charley Smith served the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Jewish Federations by developing their platform for reaching young adults and millennials, YALA. Today he lives in Miami with his partner, Shaked, and their dog Gever. Charley continues his work with the Federations today managing Honeymoon Israel, Birthright Israel, and the local cohort of the 248Community Action Network.