Monday, November 28, 2011

If only a hug really could make things all better...

I've been thinking a lot today about my children. When they were young all I had to do was give them a huge hug and maybe a kiss or two and everything usually was all better. They knew I loved them and things were all good. As they've gotten older this method isn't working as well as it used to. I can see the eye rolling happening as I give them a hug. Or I can feel the stiffening as my hug becomes an embarrassment rather than a fix-it-all. The worst is when I can sense the underlying feelings of frustration and anger that nothing seems to fix. How do parents deal with the fact that their children may not always love them. How do we as parents let our kids know that we love them to the moon and back even when some things are beyond our control?

I have a good friend whose daughter (now all grown up) still blames him for a messy divorce situation that left her with her crazy mother. I don't know all the details of the situation but I know my friend loves his daughter more than she will ever comprehend and did the best he could in a nasty, manipulative situation. It breaks his heart that she blames him for "abandoning" her. Some days I worry that my children will ask similar questions. Why did you leave us? Why didn't you keep coming to get us every day? Why couldn't we live with you? All very valid questions but each with such complicated answers. My youngest is constantly reminding me to not forget to come pick him up. And yet each time I do pick them up for a weekend or a visit, the first day or two he acts out in horrible ways and lashes out at me. It breaks my heart because I love him so much and wish I could be with him every second of
every day. I don't want to take him home but I have to.

How do I let my kids know that they are loved?