But we do it anyway.
“If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent.”
- Bette Davis wrote in her autobiography, The Lonely Life.
Like any other ‘love,’ the love between a parent and child is very complex. There are so many emotions mixed into the relationship. It can be a lot to deal with. Confusion, happiness, disappointment, and despair are a few that can throw a monkey wrench into the bond.
Okay, this is gonna be a trek. Let’s go get some life supporting supplies. Get that cuppa and fill it up. Grab a nibble or three. I saw some interesting lunches in the breakroom fridge – just sayin’.
I’m having granola with vanilla yogurt and Honeycrisp apple slices. Yum 😊 Gather your goodies and your copy of Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood then meet us out on the reading rug.
Settle in my friends cuz it’s gonna get deep. Like, deep, deep, way down deep emotions. Look, we can all write a scene where one character is smitten with another. This ain’t that. The love for a child isn’t one-dimensional. This love holds every emotion available within a human. It’s a heavy weight. We as parents hang hope on our kids. We feel their pain and joy right along with them.
When they are born, you look down at them with pure love and joy. At three months you just wish they would sleep through the night. You hold their hands when they take their first steps. You feel joy and pride with each wobble. You stand with them at the door of their first-grade class, smiling down at them and so on. Your love builds every day. Your feelings begin to twist together in a way that connects you to their emotions.
I felt our daughter’s pain when she found out her husband was cheating. I felt her despair and depression with every surgery. My heart melted as I stood by and watched the man she loves propose. We are connected. With a connection that deep we also feel each other’s rage. And that rage can build toward one another. Yes, we can ‘unfriend’ our own children.
Both of my girls, at some point, have cut ties with us. We do our best for our kiddos but that doesn’t mean we always get it right. All you can do at this point is be open to them and allow them to have their own feelings. Does it hurt? OMG –yes. This is part of the emotional mixture between parent and child.
To write all of this can be a struggle if you have never been a parent. It’s not as simple as it sounds. We are all children but not all are parents. This is where you dig deeper than you ever have when you write the connections. Think about a love interest then double it. Then double that and you might get close to the love of a parent. Don’t get me wrong – some parents SUCK and that is a whole other level of emotion. Write that if it pertains to your story line. Write the deep hatred for a parent from the child’s POV. These feelings are equally as deep and epically important to the way a child can view being a parent themselves.
See, it ain’t so easy. LOL
Bad: They are my children and I love them. I love them more than all of our things. I love them more than the pickles in the fridge, blah, blah, blah.
Example: I remember sitting in the front row holding my husband’s hand. Just as our oldest held the hand of the man she was marrying. Her face glowed. Her eyes glistened with tears she had the strength to hold in. Mine, however, ran down my cheeks and I wiped at them with a mixture of pure happiness at her finding her love followed by a twinge of loneliness at my loss. Our girl was taking a very important step in her life, and I had to let it happen.
I could almost feel her butterflies as she whispered her vows to a man I would eventually call My Favorite. I could feel her holding her breath as he said those words to her. I knew this because I was holding mine right along with her. Our beautiful, witty, talented Ladybug was about to become a wife. My joy for her raced down my cheeks leaving a riverbed behind.
“I do.” Cue more tears.
- If you have had the joy of holding your newborn– write the flood of emotions you felt the first time you held them.
- Write a scene about a parent watching their child step into a new chapter in their life: marriage, High School/college graduation, birth of their first child (grandchild). How does the parent feel as their child steps into a new stage, effectively leaving them behind?
- Write opposing paragraphs on feelings. How can you love and hate your child? How can you feel anger then acceptance? Despair and joy?
Until next time…
Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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