'Dear Mum & Dad, sorry I was such a shit.'

We asked Sean for a more recent photo but he said he had none because he’d refused to be photographed with them since the 90s.


Walking home from work last night, something inside me clicked. After spending six years trying to find ways to avoid speaking to my parents, all I wanted to do was get on the phone and talk to them.

It was almost like I thought of them as…. mates.

How things change.

Back when I was sixteen, I’m pretty sure I was convinced that my mum was a monster sent from outer space to make my life a living hell. I swear I once saw horns. My dad wasn’t much better.

I remember leaving a dictionary on the kitchen table, with a note encouraging my parents to learn some new words. I was sick of hearing “where, when, who and why”. I even highlighted the page on which “yes” was mentioned on.

What a bloody brat hey?

I also made a pretty unfavorable comparison between my Mum’s constant nagging and a plastic bag suffocating me once. Classy.

Her response? Remove my bedroom door from its hinges and hide the screws in the backyard.

My response? To set up the swag and sleep the night outside in the carport during Melbourne winter.

Game, set and match.

I would sneak in, sneak out and keep my door shut so that I didn’t have to enter into a detailed conversation about boring things like homework, healthy eating and exercise. Go away, I’d scream.

But last night, there I was– twenty-years-old, living in another city, away from family and friends and walking home in the freezing cold – and all I wanted to do was give my parents a ring.

This time it was ME that wanted to find out what they’d been doing, where they were going, who they’d been seeing and why. The tables had turned.

So, hi Mum and Dad. This is your son, Sean.

And I’m sorry.

I’ve successfully passed through the hurdles that adolescence and teenagehood have thrown at me and as I find my feet in adulthood I’m looking forward to becoming mates.

Looking back – there were no detentions, suspensions or arrests. I got into uni, found a job, have a great group of mates and don’t do drugs. I’m happy, safe and healthy.

I think we’ve done alright. Thanks for all of your help.

And, err, sorry for being an unappreciative, swearing, groaning, moping, and smelly teenage dude.

You’re right: it was all me, not you.

I promise I’ll pick you out a really great nursing home.

Sean Power is a twenty-year-old radio producer who spends too much time on Twitter. You can follow him on Twitter at @POWERSOZ. He’s also written about growing up as an Aussie male here, how much he loves old people here, and appeared on Mamamia on Sky News here and here.

Have you made the transition with your parents to becoming friends?