So there I was sitting on the couch with my youngest daughter. She was a little teary eyed and seemed a bit nervous. "Dad, there is something I need to tell you." So I paid attention. She said that earlier in the evening she had been angry and hurting and had said to those around her, "I hate my Dad". "But", she said now, "I really love you."
I laughed and told her that I had certainly felt that way about my parents at times when I was young. As I look back I think what I may have hated was that they knew what to do when I didn't and I needed their help. Many times that was a comfort, but there were times in my life that I wanted to be grown and totally responsible for myself long before I was ready to do so. Consequently I hated not being able to be what I wanted and in a funny way glad that I had them to help or set me straight as the circumstances required.
I'm guessing that is what she was feeling. You see earlier in the evening she had missed the last step at a friend's house and we found out later had broken her foot. Even later we found out she had chipped her bone and strained and maybe torn some tendons. So she was on her backside at the bottom of the stairs with friends to help and we weren't there. The friends called and said she wouldn't budge that she was hurt too much and so forth. So I ask to talk to her.
"Do you want to come home or do you want the emergency crew to pick you up and take you to the ER where they will keep you much of the night as they determine what needs to be done?" "Home" she said. "Then you need to accept the help and get into the car and get home where I can look at your leg/foot/ankle and we can determine what to do". I made it simple for her, not pleasant but simple and maybe I did it in a way that lacked compassion. But it got her moving and she was soon home.
So now you have the story. Child hurts self. Dad tells it like it is to get things moving. Child gets home and realizes that although she doesn't like the method she likes the results and realizes that she loves her Dad and she's glad to be safe at home.
It is nice to be loved even if you were hated just a few minutes earlier.
It still strikes me as odd how those feelings seem to be so close together. Almost like the only people we can hate are those we love because the others...well we just don't have that strong of feelings for them. I am glad my daughter can love so quickly after going through something unpleasant. And glad that I can laugh and remember my youth enough to understand.