It was just a matter of time, and I knew it.
From the moment my newborn babies were placed in my arms for the very first time, I knew that today would come.
I knew that eventually those words would come out.
I hate you.
To be completely honest, I'm a bit amazed that it's taken as long as it has. I have almost twelve years of mothering under my belt, and figured that it would have happened sooner than this.
I also expected it to come first from a different child.
They keep you on your toes.
As I sit here and write this, the child who screamed at me that I'd ruined her life and that she hated me rages in her room.
I know that she's throwing things. I know that she is crying as loud as she can to make sure I hear her. I know that she slammed her door for full effect.
She knows that she was wrong. She knows she is overreacting. She doesn't care right now.
I just sit here and breathe.
I know that I'm doing the right thing. Staying calm. Reminding her that we treat each other with respect in this family, and that her words are not okay. Telling her that she will be punished for being disrespectful. Staying consistent every time she attempts to beg off her punishment by coming down the stairs and snuggling up to me.
I did not yell. I did not lash out in anger at her.
I'm not angry.
I am hurt.
Even though I knew this day would come, even though there have been hints at this for a while now. It still hurts. Her sister started accusing me of ruining her life months ago, but this combination of words never came out.
Their older brother has never been the authority challenger in the house. He's not the limit pusher or boundary tester. He keeps his head down and does what he's supposed to almost all the time, and when he is called on his mistakes he tends to realize that the punishment is deserved. He might be sad and angry, he might make pathetic faces at me, but he doesn't rage. He doesn't yell.
His sisters do.
I'm ruining their lives, one day at a time. Or so they think.
And that's fine. I can live with it. I'll add a thicker layer of skin and hold my ground. I'll tell them to go hate me in their rooms. I'll remind them that hate is a strong word and should only be used for situations more serious than whatever this one is.
They can hate me all they want for enforcing boundaries, for teaching lessons, for things in life outside my control. I hope that their reasons will always revolve around re-scheduled play dates and inconveniences and least favorite dinners.
I hope they never have real reasons to hate me.
I hope I never give them those reasons.
God, I hope.
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