The following piece was written by Erma Bombeck, a queen among everyday people who knew more about living and parenting through humor than anyone I've read since she left us in the late nineties.
I think every mother I know has come across this timeless gem, "I Loved You Enough." But I read it as a teenager and never forgot it. And, if every near-adult child had a parent who was this much of a nuisance in their life, well...they'd be grateful someday.
Since I write now and then about parent relationships with grown children, it seemed a good placeholder while I finish taking care of non-bloggy business for the next couple of days.
I Loved You Enough
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 be silent and let you discover your hand-picked friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to make you return a Milky Way with a bite out of it to a drugstore and confess, "I stole this."
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 not make excuses for your lack of respect or your bad manners.
I loved you enough to ignore "what every other mother" did.
I loved you enough to figure you would lie about the party being chaperoned but forgive you for it....after discovering I was right.
I loved you enough to let you stumble, fall and fail so that you could learn to stand alone.
I loved you enough to accept you for who you are, 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.
~ Erma Bombeck