Fuck obligation, no human is another's.
As a child coming into this world, you have no choice in the matter. Not who to be born to, or where, or what life has in store for your future. Your parents chose to have you, whether planned or unplanned, they made an active decision to create and keep your life. Their choice leaves them with the responsibility and any obligation firmly in their hands, not the other way around.
You do not owe your parents anything. I am not saying this with malice or contempt, but simply through my experience with my son.
As a mother, I chose to have my son. I actively decided that his life would happen. My obligation and responsibility to him, and of him, and for him is endless. He owes me nothing in return for bringing him into this world or bringing him up in it for he had no say in the decision to create him.
We owe nothing simply because we were created from their loins.
He owes me nothing because he came from mine.
I do not want a compliant child that cannot learn and understand. I want a child that asks questions, that can accept others as they are, but also pushes himself and others just beyond their limits of activation and growth.
I do not want a relationship of obligation. I grimace at the idea he would ever feel it necessary to communicate with me based only on the idea that it is what is expected of him. My heart beats to hear him say I want to, I chose to, it is important to me too.
We will not always agree or see eye to eye, there have been and will continue to be times of discomfort and contradiction of beliefs. But, the relationship can exist and persist because I chose to see him as a human all of his own, an adult just like me, rather than just my child.
I see him. I see his triumphs, his errors, mistakes, and experiences... they are all his. Nothing he chooses is my fault or not my fault, they are simply his choices. I can hope that my influence in his life, my dedication to him, and what I have taught him through my own choices and actions help him flourish into a strong, assured, vulnerable, kind, successful (however he defines that) human.
I want to be to him: a positive light when the world seems dark, a soft place to fall when all of the edges of an experience cut away in his heart, and a choice that he makes for himself.
I am proud of this man, not because I created the human he is, that I own or possess him in some way, not because he is of me. I am proud of this man because he chooses now, to be the best human he knows how to be.
FUCK obligation, no human is another's.
As I have said from the beginning, and really for my entire adult life, I recognize that this may not match your or popular opinion. I am not saying anything other than the words here. Do not assert your emotional understanding of it on to what you think my words mean. They are very simple. Love is given based on our experience with another, it may not match your feeling or level... because love, emotion, and feeling are personal. For the bible thumpers, it says to honor... it does not state that honor means obliging their personal ideas on the matter. I understand also, that this may seem harsh, but I assure you it simply comes from a place of real vulnerability. You see, my understanding of a non-obligatory relationship honors that my son could decide he does not want one with me. That is the thing about life, love, experience, we do have a choice.