Alec Baldwin's Awesome Daughter Knows He's Awesome (Even Though One Time He Was Mean)
Hey, the (celeb) kids are alright! Or at least 16-year-old Ireland Baldwin seems to be, and while that doesn't surprise me, exactly -- her dad is Alec Baldwin, who's as "alright" as they come -- I am relieved and even inspired to hear that the father and daughter have what Ireland calls a "really great relationship." Not merely because Alec Baldwin and Ireland's mom, Kim Basinger, had the kind of rocky marriage and rockier divorce that can easily screw up any kid (let alone a girl whose family is falling apart in the public eye) and it's awesome that Ireland did not, in fact, turn out to be screwed up.
As a parent, I'm relieved and inspired because one time, when his daughter was 11 years old, Alec Baldwin snapped and said something mean to her ... and guess what? Contrary to public speculation at the time, Ireland was not emotionally devastated. In fact, she says it was "no big deal."
"It" being the infamous leaked voicemail in which Alec Baldwin called Ireland a "thoughtless little pig." Remember that one?
Alec and Kim were still battling over custody issues at the time, so Baldwin was already frustrated when he excused himself at a dinner to make a court-appointed phone call to his daughter. Then she didn't pick up the phone. Alec's frustration turned into fury, resulting in a 3 minute voicemail that ... well, um, among the highlights:
"I've made an ass of myself, trying to get to a phone to call you at a specific time ... I don't give a damn that you're 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you're a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass ... You've made me feel like a fool over and over and over again. I'm going to straighten your ass out ... You're a rude, thoughtless, little pig."
Okay, at the time everybody flipped out -- and I mean FLIPPED out, as the voicemail cost Alec his visitation rights for almost an entire year. Was Baldwin being nasty to his kid? Sure. Did he say mean things? Yup. Do most parents of tweens and teens find ourselves either saying or wanting to say very similar things to our own kids on a fairly regular basis? Um, yeah.
I'm not saying you or I or Alec Baldwin should verbally lose it on our kids, I'm just saying: It happens. We're human.
And Ireland's words today about the voicemail incident make me think maybe we don't give our kids enough credit for understanding that we're only human and we have shortcomings and we mess up but we still LOVE them more than anything:
"The only problem with that voicemail was that people made it out to be a way bigger deal than it was. He's said stuff like that before just because he's frustrated. For me it was like, 'OK, whatever.' I called him back, I was like, 'Sorry, Dad, I didn't have my phone.' That was it."
So maybe instead of stressing ourselves out all the time trying to be perfect parents, above all reproach, maybe the important thing is just to focus on the relationships we have with our kids overall and how much love there is and always will be on both sides.
AND to laugh. About everything, even scandalous voicemails:
"We almost did something funny on YouTube, of me calling him and yelling at him. We were just talking about it the other week," says Ireland.
Like father, like daughter. In the best possible way.
Do you think we should give our teens more credit?
Image via Getty
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