Dear Parents of My Son’s Best Friend,
As you may have heard, your son was visiting our home last week when he told our son, “You have the coolest parents.” If you hadn’t heard this news yet, maybe you should check your texts more often because I’ve sent you like twenty.
This must be a hard time for you, realizing that you’re not the world’s coolest parents, but you should take solace in knowing your son didn’t say you weren’t cool, he merely implied you weren’t the coolest, because that position is already occupied by my wife and me. For all I know, you might very well occupy the second place position, although your son never said this specifically and he had plenty of opportunity to do so.
You should choose to interpret his comment as more of a referendum on our coolness and not necessarily a verdict on yours. At least that’s what I’d do in your difficult and uncool situation.
I don’t want to make too big a deal out of this because being the coolest parents isn’t a competition. Not yet, anyway. And until it is, there’s really no point in beating yourself up over the whole thing. But if you do choose to beat yourself up, please let my wife know because it would mean a great deal to her.
And you really shouldn’t waste too much time wondering where you went wrong because it’s more of an issue of where my wife and I went right. You would probably feel better if you knew what you were up against: My wife and I are pretty cool. You don’t know us very well, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Also, your son’s. Also, I can provide many, many other references. But believe me, if we ever hung out you’d understand what all the fuss was about.
Don’t spend too much time envying us, because that’s not cool, and you should know our coolness was not accidental but came through great personal sacrifice. When our children were born my wife and I sat down to decide what kind of parents we wanted to be, and we had to choose between teaching our kids to be cool or teaching them to be good people, because we didn’t have the attention span for both. My wife hasn’t regretted her choice for a second, but this is because the coolness portion of her brain is so large that there’s no space remaining for introspection.
Don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of other superlatives besides ‘coolest’ available and many opportunities to top another category of parenting. Maybe the next time my son visits your house he might just say, “You have the tallest parents,” or “You have the oldest parents,” or “You have the strictest parents.”
Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you through this difficult time. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and don’t be surprised if that advice turns out to be the coolest advice ever.