Dear Mom and Dad,

I totally get it now. And I am so sorry. Let me explain.

I can vividly remember being an exuberant 7-year-old who loved theme parks, the thrills and chills from roller coasters, and trying all the rides — the faster, taller, and longer, the better. Then becoming a rambunctious 10-year-old who loved arcades, swinging the whack-a-mole mallet with all my might, playing Skee-Ball, and anticipating the rush of watching all those tickets pouring out of the machines and earning the big prize. (And even though I always walked away with a slap bracelet and some Tootsie Rolls, the excitement was still worth it.) And then all those years I would beg and plead with you every summer, long weekend, or school vacation to go to Disney World, FunSpot, or Canobie Lake to fulfill those urges for games and entertainment. I wanted the pure, unadulterated fun.

Over the years there were many nos from you. And a lot of disappointment on my end. But then there were the times you said yes. Sometimes, you brought us without even needing to be asked. Those were the best days of my youth.

And now, as an introverted adult, I totally get why you didn’t like bringing us to those places. You worked 40 hours a week and had to run a household. The last thing you wanted to do in your spare time was go to a theme park, arcade, or some other overcrowded establishment.

It must’ve been a huge sacrifice for you — the noise levels, the crowds, the children running, climbing, pushing, and basically acting the exact opposite of how you disciplined yours. But you couldn’t say anything because it wasn’t your place. So you held your tongue, powered through, tried to diffuse the situation, and hoped the day would end with no incidents.

I know you would have rather been relaxing at the beach with a good book or laying on the couch napping instead of being hot, sweaty, and miserable at an amusement park. So thanks for taking one for the team, or, in this case, your kids. And I’m sorry for constantly pestering you about bringing me to those places. Experiencing it now from a parent’s perspective, it’s not as fun. Sure, I enjoy seeing my son’s excitement, but I could certainly do without all the obnoxious ambiance that goes along with it. So thank you for fulfilling my childhood dreams at the cost of your personal comfort and enjoyment. I finally understand your experience. And again, my deepest apologies.

Your grateful daughter

Lesley Moreau
Lesley grew up in New Bedford, MA, came to Boston for college, and stuck around. She holds a master's degree in criminal justice and an MFA in creative writing. Lesley is a playwright and has had her work produced in Boston, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Texas. Lesley lives in Dorchester with her husband and 3-year-old son. She is a proud and unapologetic "one and done" mom. Lesley loves traveling, true crime docs and inspired scripted series, reading, coffee, face masks, and family game nights.