The perfect parent doesn’t know when you sneak out at night with your friends, but always knows exactly where you are when you’re in trouble and need help.
The perfect parent welcomes your friends to dinner even if they weren’t expecting company and didn’t prepare enough food and have to give up their slice of pizza and eat leftover beet salad instead.
The perfect parent sits with you while you do homework so that they can answer any question you might have and is happy to listen to you complain about each teacher and subject for as long as you need to before you even start.
The perfect parent plays games with you but never interferes in any games that you are playing.
The perfect parent respects your privacy and never goes into your room but somehow finds a way to put everything neatly away in there so you have a nice clean place to work, and think, and mess up.
The perfect parent takes the whole family on vacation to places of historical and cultural interest but let’s you do whatever you want all summer long, and never tries to drag you anywhere you don’t want to go, especially with your bratty little brother.
The perfect parent lets you wear any fashion you choose, get you ears pierced, get tattoos, belly rings, nose rings, and dye your hair orange or whatever color it takes to be one of the cool kids.
But the perfect parent never allows their kids to do anything to their bodies that would permanently alter their appearance and makes sure that they dress in a way that their teachers and employers and friends’ parents would approve.
The perfect parent lets you listen to whatever music you like cranked up as loud as possible, but never plays their embarrassing Yanni records when your friends are visiting.
The perfect parent encourages you to sign up for the hardest classes available in school, so that you can learn the most and excel in life, but allows you to take the easiest classes, so that you can have lots of fun and still get good grades.
The perfect parent lets you do whatever you want, because it’s your life and why should they interfere if you decide when you’re almost 15 that you want to be a sidewalk chalk artist and therefore have no need for biology or American history?
The perfect parent insists that you just say no but provides you with whatever birth control you ask for.
The perfect parent belts you in, makes sure you’re wearing a helmet, slathers on SPF100 sunblock and sprays you with non-toxic bug spray at every appropriate opportunity, but blames themselves when you don’t take any of these precautions on your own, and come home sunburned, bit-up, and with a bandage on your forehead.
The perfect parent makes sure you get all your vaccinations but doesn’t allow you to get any vaccinations, because vaccinations are unnecessary and dangerous and may even cause more diseases.
The perfect parent buys and cooks only healthy organic food but takes you out to fast food restaurants and loves junk food as much as you do.
The perfect parent has unlimited credit.
The perfect parent makes you go to church or temple and insists you have a deep spiritual connection to God but doesn’t believe in God and doesn’t care what you believe.
The perfect parent brings your lunch or your gym shoes or homework to school when you forget them, and writes you the best excuses when you’re late with an assignment.
The perfect parent can wave a magic wand or kiss your boo-boos and make everything OK.
The perfect parent is not perfect. That would just be too much of a burden for any child to have to live with and would no doubt result in decades of expensive therapy.