You've missed a lot. More than I could possibly record in a few blog posts. But I sure can try.
You've missed him. He's silly and loud and funny and determined. He is not a picky eater, but sometimes he pretends he doesn't like pizza. He likes to be read to and he's learning to read more and more on his own each day. He likes to pretend he can read less than he actually can. He is winding down his first year of kindergarten. That means you missed pre-school. That means you missed pre-school graduation. You missed all of the crafts and papers. You've missed the songs he's learned. He loves to sing. You don't know that. I bought him an iPod for his birthday. You've never bought him a birthday gift. He never celebrated a birthday with you.
He can ride a two-wheeled bike now. You didn't teach him that. He's amazingly loving and caring. He will never turn down a kiss or a hug and after five minutes, he no longer considers anyone a stranger. You didn't help him learn those traits.
You don't know his favorite food, the food that makes him gag. You don't know what is his nick-name for me. You don't know that he still uses a baby blanket and calls it that. He says it smells like me and keeps him safe.
Don't you wonder about his favorite color? Don't you wonder what kind of music he likes? Aren't you curious if he is scared of thunder storms? Do you wonder if he likes animals?
You haven't been a factor in his life. You haven't been an influence. You haven't been a source of wisdom or discipline or anything else. It makes me sad for him sometimes. But most often, it makes me sad for you. You are missing out on an amazing kid. A kid who is strong, loud, and happy. A kid who doesn't need you just like I didn't.
One day he will ask about you in more detail than he currently does. And I will tell him. I will be fair, but I will be truthful. He will judge you. He will thank me for doing what I did and making the choices that I made. The choices that were so hard to make. The choices that I questioned for so long.
But now, when he's in the drive way playing basketball and commentating to himself; when he's jumping as high as he can to try to make a basket and he's rooting for himself - well, I'm in the shadows of the garage or behind the screen door on the front porch. And I'm rooting for him too. I know that the choices I made couldn't have been more correct and couldn't have made this little boy happier.
You'll be sorry you missed him one day.