The "Crews Missile": Dad’s Email to His Adult Children

Most of us at some point wonder what monstrous harm we’ve done to our children. We ruminate over the mistakes we’ve made as parents. Did we let our son cry too long? Did we rescue too often? Is my daughter going to be damaged for life because I took her lunch to her in 3rd grade when she forgot it? Now she’ll never learn to accept consequences and learn from her mistakes! Whoa. My shoulders are already starting to sag from the weight of all that parental guilt.

In comes a British father, Nick Crews, whose email to his three adult children has evidently catapulted him into something of a cult hero. It was written in Feb., but his daughter released it recently. If you haven’t read his email, here it is:

“Dear All Three,”

“With last evening’s crop of whinges and tidings of more rotten news for which you seem to treat your mother like a cess-pit, I feel it is time to come off my perch.

“It is obvious that none of you has the faintest notion of the bitter disappointment each of you has in your own way dished out to us. We are seeing the miserable death throes of the fourth of your collective marriages at the same time we see the advent of a fifth.”

“I wonder if you realise how we feel — we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us. Fulfilling careers based on your educations would have helped — but as yet none of you is what I would confidently term properly self-supporting.”

“So we witness the introduction to this life of six beautiful children — soon to be seven — none of whose parents have had the maturity and sound judgment to make a reasonable fist at making essential threshold decisions. …

“The predictable result has been a decade of deep unhappiness over the fates of our grandchildren. If it wasn’t for them, Mum and I would not be too concerned, as each of you consciously, and with eyes wide open, crashes from one cock-up to the next. It makes us weak that so many of these events are copulation-driven, and then helplessly to see these lovely little people being woefully let down by you, their parents.”

“I want to hear no more from any of you until, if you feel inclined, you have a success or an achievement or a REALISTIC plan for the support and happiness of your children to tell me about.”

The e-mail is signed, “I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed. Dad.”

The email has been named “The Crews Missile” in England. I wondered what his children had done to deserve such a letter from their dad. I found his daughter’s blog response here: She doesn’t seem to be such a bad person. Evidently, she’s the only child who is still speaking to her father.

I’m sad for their family. It doesn’t appear that it made much difference in any of their lives, but he certainly got something off his chest. Would you do this with your kids? Do you think it would have a lasting effect on your relationship if you did?

Categories: Editor’s Blog