Good post. I have a similar story. My parents are writers too, albeit the impoverished sort. One day, when I was a kid, my mother gave me a sick kitten to take care of. I grew up in Minnesota, and this was the winter, so I was given a space heater to keep the kitten warm. Knowing my family’s financial issues, I thought I should not use too much energy, so I kept the space heater on low. So, the kitten died. My mom’s anger and yelling at me about this was one of the most terrifying moments of my childhood.
It might seem like cut and dry bad parenting, but I’m actually very grateful for how this experience grounded me. I have zero interest in being a writer and have a very sensible education in STEM and career in web development, which is good because I also have a newborn who needs a house with decent heating. My mother’s very nicely helping my wife and I navigate these first few months.
While I (probably) won’t emotionally saddle my child with any kitten deaths, I’m looking forward to teaching her about decision-making and consequences. I’ll try to balance my forgiveness with teaching her that the world can be unforgiving.