Parenting is a promise to the human you made, that you will care for them, nurture them, provide for them, protect them, and love them. This post is for all those who choose to opt out of their responsibilities.
TRUTH, you are the ones missing out.
You miss the love you feel when they show random affection.
You miss the excitement they exhibit on holidays, Birthdays and the ear popping squeals on Christmas morning.
You miss the snuggles.
You miss them trusting you, from them reaching for your hand when they need assurance to double checking what they think, just to "run in by ya".
You miss the pride you feel when they become independent.
You miss the fear that comes with their new found independence.
You miss the pride in their eyes, when they know you are watching and proud of them.
You miss reading books and watching movies, the amazement when they see something cool.
You miss the firsts, and often the lasts. The first steps, and words, and foods. You miss the last bath time that they need your help, the last kisses goodnight, and the first and last days of each grade.
You miss their tears when they don't understand how you can be missing from their lives, how you chose to not call, or text, or show up for them, and how they miss and love you unconditionally anyway.
You miss them learning and growing, and the light bulb moments when they get it!
You miss bike rides, and skateboarding, and adventures.
You miss girlfriends and boyfriends, the love bug when it starts, and their little hearts breaking when it ends.
You miss them making friends and honing their preferences in music, art, movies, food, hobbies.
You miss them getting pets, and the joy a child has by knowing that unconditional bond with their pet.
You miss the nights wondering how you got so lucky to be their parent, with their awesome little selves. And also nights waiting for them to come home, because you can't sleep until you know they are safe.
You miss their activities, when they get to play in the game for the first time, or win a meet, or spell the last word correctly, you miss the victories.
You miss parties and them being silly with their friends.
You miss the understanding with other parents, and being grateful for them, because Lord knows it takes a village.
You miss seeing them become young men and women.
You miss them making mistakes, and having a part of shaping the young adults they are becoming.
You miss them being sick, but you also miss them wanting and needing you, to help them feel better, to stroke their soft hair as they finally drift off to sleep.
You miss their acts of kindness to others, and the compliments on what rad kids they are.
You miss them starting at a job, or getting a new one.
You miss them learning how to drive.
You miss them contemplating their futures, college, military, work, love.
You miss each and every smile, tear, word, fear, happiness, the love, oh the love.
You miss their lives, until they become adults who say "I grew up without my dad, or mom" and you become an after thought.
You will miss futures, relationships, jobs, moves, weddings, babies and so much more.
You miss all of this by choice, and leave the other one of us it takes to make this beautiful being, alone to try and be both mother and father. You leave us to do it all, when we only know how to do our half. We don't get sick days, or a break. We do our best, but no child should endure your absence by choice. The pain you cause is more than you know, because you miss that too.
You miss all of it.