When the Kid Is the Parent

Most people get fifty or sixty years of life to prepare for what I was struggling to cope with after only eleven: Did Mom eat today? Is it okay if I leave the house for more than an hour? Will she remember to take her pills at the right time today? What happens if she tries to leave the house again? And I had to balance this shit against equally important issues like, How badly are they going to make fun of me for wearing fake Keds? Do I have the right Trapper Keeper? What if that boy in band finds out I have a crush on him?

— There is absolutely nothing uplifting or inspirational about this essay by Samantha Irby, except, perhaps that she’s alive to tell it. It’s a real, real bummer, and it’s not recommended unless: You are sitting around feeling sorry for yourself because of your debt or your loan payments or that you can’t go to the bar later or that you spent all your money on lunch or basically anything other than Really Hard and Real Stuff. In that case, read it. Then go enjoy your wonderful life.


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