I Love You Enough to Let You Hate Me

Posted on August 19, 2009. Filed under: Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

When our daughters were little, we used to play the “How Much Do You Love Me” game. Spreading our arms wide, we’d say, “I love you soooo big!” Sam always had a cute way of saying it–“I love you huggy much and sweet.” Those were the cute days, when love was enough to satisfy almost everything, except for their ferocious appetites, that is.

Now that they’re older, we say ‘I love you’ differently. A text message Luv u or a quick Love you – Love you, too, as the girls are flying out the door. But once in a while, I find it necessary to say I love you a little differently.  Today is one of those days, and today this is how I’m telling my daughters that I do, indeed, love them.

Sometimes when I say no, it’s because I love you. Really.

Sometimes when I say yes, it’s also because I love you.

Sometimes I let you spread your wings and fly, visiting friends and spending the night with them. I know you need friends and fun, and I say yes because I love you.

But when you’re gone for three days and nights, I’ll yank you right back, just like a momma bear would do. So, fly, but always know that when you fly too far, I’ll clip your wings.  Why? Because I love you.

I got you a cell phone because I love you. I know, everyone has one. But I love you enough to check in with you and make sure you’re okay. I love you enough to encourage you to check in with me and let me know you’re okay. But when that phone is at somebody else’s house on a charger and I can’t reach you, I love you enough to take it away. You don’t get the awesome privilege of texting your friends 24/7 if you don’t respond to me.

As I have with every one of you, I love you enough that I will not – ever- let you drive to school. Oh, I know that you think I hate you because of that, but it’s 100% based on love. I’ve attended the wakes of too many teenagers who never made it to school or home from school on that same route.

So, while you’re sitting here in our boring house tonight hating me because you want to spend the fourth night away from home, there are some things you need to know. When you push, I’ll pull. When you want more freedom, I might impose more limitations.

You see, everything is great – in moderation. Friends are wonderful, but they aren’t eveything. You have a family, too. We also need you. You also need us, though you don’t always know it. You need rules, restrictions, and reminders. You need to learn respect and gain the values you’ll need when you don’t need me anymore.

The only thing that doesn’t require moderation is love.  Whether it’s SO BIG or huggy much and sweet, there’s always room for more.

Sometimes, the greatest way to show that love is provide limits, even though I know that, right now, you’ll hate me for it.

I love you enough to let you hate me.

Someday, I hope you’ll thank me for loving you that much.


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4 Responses to “I Love You Enough to Let You Hate Me”

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Sounds like you know what you’re doing! Hope the “punishment” goes quickly for YOU! 🙂

I used to tell my daughter, “if you hate me, then I know I’m being a good parent.” I remember those days so well. Mine was a teen before cellphones were prominent. We got her a pager. That was only effective on a small level. When they are teens, we are the bad guys. That’s ok. Mine are 28 and 30 now. They thank me for being the bad guy all those years. It’s hard when you’re going through it, but afterwards, the benefits are all worth it. Hang in there! You’re doing what’s right (not that you needed my validation!)

Aint this the truth.

Hey Jahmal, thanks for stopping by!

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