30 Things That Happen To The Kids Without Parents

30 Things That Happen To The Kids Without Parents

Last-minute realizations, avoidable experiences, and questions you just shouldn't ask people

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I could summarize this entire post in one simple sentence and call it a day. I could choose to deal with my own problems and ignore others' because they don't affect me. I could gloss over the subject and pretend none of it is real. But that wouldn't be fair, mature, or loving of myself or others.

So with that, I don't think there's anything truer I can say besides I know what it's like.

I had little to no interaction with my parents. I lived with my maternal aunt and grandmother and hadn't a clue why. The confusion probably hurt me more than knowing ever would've. Obviously, there are things you just don't tell children. You'll spoil their innocence. Or, they'll understand when they're older. But for kids without parents, it's almost impossible to get it through their heads not to mature so quickly (before it's socially "time"). It's like telling the sun not to rise tomorrow. You just can't.

But I digress. I give a snapshot of my hidden experiences here with the hopes that I help...comfort...give love to someone else. Just letting y'all out there know you're not alone.

1. My entire second grade class asked me where my dad was after I said he "was" something.

I was also the new kid in town at that time. Nice.

2. My third grade teacher excluded me from Mother's Day arts and crafts because she knew I didn't have a mom.

3. A boy in my class asked if I was a robot because I had no parents. Also Batman (how would that work???).

4. Another boy (same class) asked, "Is your dad dead?" in front of the whole class on Father's Day. 

5. When my mom wasn't my chaperone for the Mommy Daughter Dance, a girl noticed and told me I shouldn't have bothered coming.

6. I never saw their faces in the audience at any of my choral concerts growing up.

7. My junior high advisor mentioned it was abnormal that I wasn't living with my parents.

8. An ex-boyfriend told me it was no wonder I was so problematic.

(What with being an "orphan" and all. You know, the usual).

9. I graduated high school with no one in the bleachers cheering for me. 

10. I got looks for bringing my only picture of my parents and I to my graduation ceremony.

11. They didn't get to congratulate me on my first job.

Or the next. Or the next...

12. I never got to tell them I got accepted to my dream college.

13. My mom and I were supposed to get matching tattoos.

14. My parents will never know I left that toxic boyfriend they worried about.

15. I look at drugs, alcohol, and addictions from a completely different angle than other kids my age.

16. I grew up never knowing what true love was.

17. I never got to have "mother-daughter gossip."

18. I never had a male role model in my life.

19. My mom never got to meet my best friends. Just some good-for-nothing boy that broke my heart.

20. I grew up cold toward tragedy. Grieving is hard now. Things just seem to happen.

21. I see parents with their college students now and it never fails to break my heart.

22. I won't have my dad to walk me down the aisle.

23. I won't have my mom to do any girl bonding with.

24. The last image I have of them is the most haunting.

25. I rethink our last conversations all the time and speculate.

26. I see their auras in the world around me. Sometimes it's freaky.

27. I have dreams about them all the time.

Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.

28. I never get to tell them I love them, or hear their voices, or see their faces.

29. My parents will never be grandparents or in-laws.

30. I still have not completed my grieving process. Even after all these years.

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When You Give A Girl A Papa

She'll learn enough lessons to last a lifetime.
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When you give a girl a Papa she'll have the best adventures.

She'll run around atop his shoulders and learn to fly. Her imagination will never run dry and she'll always be down for a laugh. He'll tell her stories and wipe away her tears. When you give a girl a Papa she'll have memories to last her years.

Papa is German for Dad but in America, it has become a slang term for grandpa. And while it is just a word, for some, it has a deeper meaning. Papa isn't just a grandfather, he's a best friend, the instigator of mischief, a protector, a storyteller, a rock, the strongest man you know and, most importantly, a hero.

Papa can turn ordinary, everyday activities into an adventure. From a young age, I was running behind him as quickly as my little legs could carry me ready for that day's adventure. I was always down for anything Papa was doing, following him in his daily chores and mimicking his every move. Cuddling up and watching sports in his lazy chair was my favorite time of the day because he always told the best stories. Sitting there hanging onto every word he said because it was the most important thing I ever heard.

Papa is full of experience and wisdom. His wise words provide comfort every time I am sad. He can always make me laugh to fight the tears away. I'm not sure how, but he always knows what to say to make me feel better. Papa is a fearless force that never bows and is never broken. He can weather all of the storms while smiling and laughing. I can only hope to have that resilience when facing life's problems. And when Papa was struggling with his own battles, I will stand right next to him, ready to fight and do all I can for him.

Papa can do a happy dance via the phone so he is the person to call when something good happens. He is always there to celebrate life and all its joy. And, even though he tried to hide them, he cried happy tears the day of my high school graduation. I pretended not to notice.

Leaving Nana and Papa's house is always the worst part of the trip. Driving away waving my hand in the air with tears welling in my eyes because I can't wait for the next adventure. Disappointing Papa was the scariest thing you I could think of, but I knew that he would never stay that way for long. There was always a lesson to learn from mistakes.

He is the man I model all men after. If they don't treat me the way Papa demonstrated, they are not worthy of my time. If they don't make me laugh or have that twinkle of passion in their eyes and fire in their soul like my Papa, then they aren't the man for me.

Papa is my hero. I would give anything to be like him, to stand strong and hold the world together when it just wants to fall apart. To be able to make anyone laugh and feel right at home. To fight for what I believe in and work hard to achieve my goals. To have charisma and charm. To deal with people who wrong me with class and kindness. To follow my faith with questions because that is the only way to make your beliefs stronger. To be the person everyone speaks of with a fond memory in their eye.

At the end of it all, he is my Papa and no one can take his place. I can and will drop anything to be by his side. He has shaped me into the person that I am working to be. I will always call him for advice and kind words.

Best friends come in many forms, but my favorite will always be my Papa.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Goddard

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My Parents Deserve To Be Celebrated 365 Days A Year, Not Just On Mother's And Father's Day

One day a year is not enough to express how thankful I am for my mother and father. I don't think 365 days will do it justice, either.

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Mother's and Father's Day. Days of the year where everyone is expected to focus all their attention on the mothers and fathers of the world. They do so many things that are never recognized, just expected of them. It's their duties as mothers and fathers to take care of, protect, love, and do all means necessary to make their children happy. That's what they signed up for, right?

We use Mother's and Father's Day to step back and thank our parents for all the little things they've done over the past years. For 24 hours, we end up showering them in attention, gifts, and love. It's our turn to spoil them back.

After those 24 hours are gone though, what happens? All the sappy social media posts fade away. The handwritten cards get tossed out. The festivities end. Everyone goes back to their daily routines.

I always found it funny how on these days every year, everyone in the world is all hands on deck, spoiling our moms and dads in any way possible. My siblings and I would always get our parents cards, small gifts, and maybe have a special dinner together that day.

As I grow older, I'm starting to understand how silly a day like Mother's and Father's Day really is. My parents are the greatest superheroes I have ever met, so they should be celebrated, appreciated, and taken care of not just one day, but every day of the damn year.

My parents have raised me from day one, supporting me through all the highs and lows. They picked me up when I fell down and scraped my knee on the concrete. They dealt with me through every temper tantrum and angry episode. They didn't kill me during my teenage years (I was the biggest brat).

They've spent God only knows how much money to support me in all of my endeavors. They sat and let me cry on their shoulders when I got my heart broken for the first time. They continue to pick up the phone in the late hours of the night when I'm having a panic attack about something silly.

They stood by me as I graduated from middle school, high school, and college. They'll continue to support me as I move out and on, getting married and having a family of my own.

My mom and dad have been there for me 365 days a year, every year. I think it's my turn to be there for them 365 days a year, not just on Mother's and Father's Day.

I know it's hard to do so right now as I am at an unstable time of my life, but one day I will be able to give back everything they have given to me, and more.

So, to my wonderful parents, my role models, and my heroes:

Thank you for taking care of me, protecting me, loving me, and doing all things necessary to make me happy. I don't think any amount of words, hugs, or kisses will be able to truly show how blessed I am to have parents like you. I love you both so much, and I promise to celebrate you every day, 365 days a year.

You mean the world to me, and I hope you know that you've done an amazing job raising my siblings and I. I hope to one day be half the parent that you are. Thank you for being you. I love you so much.

Happy Mother's and Father's Day to all the parents out there. Although those holidays are absolutely your days to shine, I hope you get showered in love 365 days a year, too.

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