I'm Moving Out

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 | wilfred

A letter to my parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

This letter is to say thank you for everything you've done for me, and to let you know that I'm moving out.

Firstly, thank you for answering all my questions as I was growing up. You always had an answer for everything, from the simplest questions to the most difficult. Even if sometimes that answer was "Because I said so."

Thank you for understanding when, during my teenage years, I went into my room, rejected your authority, and pondered deep teenage thoughts like meaninglessness, immersing myself in the most depressing music I could find.

While I have lived in this house, I have also learned how to learn, how to learn from my mistakes, and how to discover things for myself.

That's partly what has brought me to the realisation that it is time for me to move out. Remember when I had that argument with my brother Sixtus? He insisted our house was the centre of our neighbourhood; that you had told him so, and how dare I disagree? Well, it turns out that we live in a suburb, and there are lots of neighbourhoods, and lots of houses, and lots of cities. And everyone seems to agree on that now.

But there are still so many arguments that just seem silly to me. Some of my siblings still insist that you built not just our house, but all houses everywhere, in 6 days, including making the bricks, all by yourselves. Some concede that it must have taken longer than 6 days, but that you designed every house, and all the furniture and fittings in each one, in every city, throughout the world. It's like the argument with Sixtus all over again.

Now you know that every night, and before every meal, I have always talked to you. You have never talked back to me. You never talk back to any of us, although some of us say you do, but I don't believe them. Of course there was Christopher, who said he hadn't been born; he'd come directly from where you stay upstairs. And everything he said was exactly what you wanted him to say. And that we could just talk to him, and he'd tell us what you would say. But some say he died, and others say he just went back upstairs, and promised to come back downstairs again, but he never did.

What really made up my mind finally, though, was my brother Benedict. He says that we can't decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. Only you can decide that for us. There is the book you gave us. And Benedict says that anything that isn't clear in the book, you tell him directly, and then he tells us. But he doesn't seem to realise what's actually happening, and what he tells us makes no sense. And the book forbids us from doing pretty ordinary stuff, and says that it's OK to do some pretty horrific things. Our family has caused a lot of pain because of what's written in that book.

So it's the whole attitude of our family that I will no longer stand for. I know I cannot change their minds all by myself. They are too scared. And too stubborn. And some of them are, honestly, too dumb. I no longer want to be counted as one of them.

I don't care if you really are upstairs or not. It is not important to me any more. I have something much more important to do, and I must do it in my own house, because it is not possible to do it in this house.

I have realised that what makes people special isn't whether or not you chose them to be in our family. It is that they themselves can choose. I want to help them to choose what is right for everyone; not just what is right for our family; and not only everyone who is alive today, but also everyone who will be alive in the future.

That requires more than just liberty. That requires liberty and coordination; a structure of people, built to allow liberty. And this family is definitely not that structure.

So I'm moving out. And anyone who wants to come and move into my house is welcome. It promises to be more mature, more sensible, and as a result, in the long term, decidedly more happy.

I will always remember you, sometimes with a little embarrassment, but always with poignant fondness.

Your son,


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