Love your baby.
Not just when they're cooing and gurgling, smiling and laughing. But always.
Not just when they're saying Mama and Dada and picking up their toys. But always.
Not just when they finish all their dinner. But always.
Not just when they learn to walk and run. But always.
Not just when they start school. But always.
Not just when they listen to what you say and do what they're told. But always.
Not just when they come home with good grades. But always.
Always, always, always love your baby.
And to love your baby, you have to communicate with them. Even if they're at that stage when the roll their eyes at you, talk back at you, are mean and cruel. Even then... especially then... Love your baby.
Even if they tell you they hate you, tell you you're no good or that you suck as a parent. Love your baby.
Even if they beg you to move in with the ex and you let them go. Love your baby.
Even if they get in trouble with the law, get caught with drugs, won't stop doing the drugs or getting into trouble. Even then... especially then... Love your baby.
It doesn't mean you have to applaud their bad behavior, but you do need to tell them you love them, show them you love them. Because the moment you step away from them, from communicating with them, from parenting them, you're acting as if you don't love them anymore. It doesn't matter if you still "love them in your heart", you're showing them that you don't. And it's an unforgivable act. To stop showing your love for your baby. No matter how old they are. Unforgivable. And the one who will hurt the most is that baby. No matter if he is an adult and technically made his own bed.
I post this with a heavy, full-of-worry heart. Tomorrow someone very close to me has to go to court for charges filed against him while on probation for some other stupid shit he got caught doing. On paper, I want them to put him in jail....but he means so fucking much to me and was dealt a set of shittastic parents in this life. But that's not on the paper the judge will look at and, at 19, I guess these can't be excuses anymore. I'm so afraid of what tomorrow will bring. So afraid.