When they are little, they scream that they hate you, but, of course, you know that they really don't. I think all of my kids have told me they hate me at one point or another. Thankfully, not lately.
Once, one of my daughters told me that I was ruining her life after she'd finally found her place. Not so much later, she thanked me again and again for the decisions we made.
I've been accused of favoring one over the others. I've been told I wasn't fair. They've been angry when I didn't let them do something, go somewhere I thought wasn't safe. One daughter caught on quickly enough and tells me when I should say no so that I appear like the mean one while she can commiserate with her friends, who, for the most part, love my cooking and think I'm not so bad.
One of my kids told me that I was a disappointment - that one still hurts. I'm not sure if that wasn't the harshest criticism yet.
One of my kids is mad at me. A child's anger can be sharper than the sharpest sword, cut deeper than any knife known to man. I wonder how many times you can cut a mother's heart, how many times it can bleed without breaking? There's no cure to fix it, no medicine to stop the pain.
We've talked. I've apologized for that which I did wrong; tried to explain what actions I took when put in a no-win situation. Nothing I say is going to change the anger coming my way.
And in the wake of this anger, one of my daughters left me the most amazing letter. She wrote:
I hope this year will be easier and better. I would like to tell you that you are a great Mom and you did a great job with us, the kids. I know that sometimes you think I don't appreciate you and think you are not a good Mom but you are wrong. I love you so much and appreciate you for all of what you do! And remember, you are a perfect Mom and don't think different. You did the best job you could and you succeeded. I love you so much and don't forget that! Have a good, happy, and amazing year!She left it on my computer and though I've told her, I can't imagine that she'll ever really understand how much I needed to read these words. I think it's cute that she thinks I'm a "perfect" Mom, especially at a time when another thinks I'm such a bad one.
I read this letter almost every day now, trying to remember that children will hate their parents sometimes even when they are all grown up, but they'll always love them because you really can hate and love something at the same time.
When the anger outweighs the love...what can a mother do?