"You don't love me!"
How many times have your kids laid that one on you? And how many times have you, as a parent, resisted the urge to tell them how much? Someday, when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a mother, I'll tell them...
I loved you enough to bug you about where you were going, with whom and what time you would get home.
I loved you enough to insist you buy a bike with your own money, which we could afford, and you couldn't.
I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover your hand picked friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your bedroom, a job that would have taken me 15 minutes.
I loved you enough to say, "Yes, you can go to Disney World on Mother's Day."
I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, disgust, and tears in my eyes.
I loved you enough not to make excuses for your lack of respect or your bad manners.
I loved you enough to admit that I was wrong and ask for your forgiveness.
I loved you enough to ignore "what every other mother" did or said.
I loved you enough to let you stumble, fall, hurt, and fail.
I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your own actions, at 6, 10, or 16.
I loved you enough to figure you would lie about the party being chaperoned, but forgave you for it...after discovering I was right.
I loved you enough to shove you off my lap, let go of your hand, be mute to your pleas and insensitive to your demands...so that you learned to stand alone.
I loved you enough to accept you for what you are, and not what I wanted you to be.
But most of all, I loved you enough to say no when you hated me for it. That was the hardest part of all.