Most parents get the obligatory “I HATE YOU!” from their kid at some point. Some get it when the kid is in the throes of the
fucking fantastic fours and obstinance and tantrums are a way of life. Some get it from their angst-y tweens, who usually punctuate it with a slammed door. So far, I have made it 7 years without hearing those dreaded words. I thought I had it made until the day my daughter said four words that cut me even deeper:
“You. Don’t. Love. Me.”
Ouch. I can’t even remember now what the context of the slur was. But I do remember feeling a sense of disbelief. How could this child–the child that sat inside of me next to my heart for 6 months–think it was possible for me not to love her?
I love her with all of my being. I can’t remember how I even breathed without her in my world.
I love her so much; I sat by her incubator until I physically couldn’t take it anymore, for days and weeks in a row.
I love her so much; I sacrificed my own mental health to care for her (hello? Infants don’t sleep).
I love her so much; I put her social life ahead of my own. (How many birthday parties can one kid go to?)
I love her so much; I will teach her everything I know about being a kind person; everything I know about wearing high heels and bras.
I love her so much; I always give her the most perfect of all the pancakes.
I love her so much; I would even let her have the very last bite of cake. And I really love cake.
I love her so much; I would fight a lion to keep her safe.
I love her so much; I would travel to the ends of the earth to find her happiness.
I love her so much; I would tattoo her name on my skin.
I know she didn’t mean it when she said I didn’t love her. She was cranking about something and I just happened to be on the receiving end. But I’m letting it serve as a good reminder to always, no matter what, make sure she knows how much I do love her. Right now, she cannot even fathom what this kind of love feels like. She doesn’t even know. She doesn’t have to. It’s up to me to make sure she knows it and feels it. I didn’t even know until it was there, right in front of me. But now that it is, I know it and it is the thing I am most sure of. I love her. Mightily.