I don’t like my kids. I love them. Like and love. These get mixed and mashed up so much. We all like stuff. Our kids like stuff. We even like our kids. Fact is most normal humans love their kids. Yet with that love comes a grey area that most people don’t know how to navigate. Let’s call it the like love bridge. I’ll explain. I love my kids with all my heart and would do anything to see them happy. But some days I do not like them. Not them as a person but the actions, choices, & behavior they exhibit. The harsh truths they tell you as soon as they can talk, like wow 33 is a lot of years. This dislike is not a foreign concept and happens in all relationships. It starts with grade schools crushes.
- You think you like
- Then you love
- Realize you don’t know love
- Then don’t like anymore
- Rinse and repeat for years
This translates into in our work lives, and entire families. In some cases it infiltrates marriages. The thing we must realize is it’s perfectly ok. You will never always like someone. Liking is a fluid emotion that has way too many factors that hinge on this one thing. The very definition means to have the same characteristics. But in speech it is used as a meaningless filler. That’s how flimsy like is. We like a song one week or month until it plays too much or a new hot Drake song comes out. It happens with cars. You get a new car and you are smiling from ear to ear. You want to spend every waking hour in the car. You clean it. Set rules for it. On sunny days you wash it. Eventually it wears off. It becomes just a car. A newer model rolls out, or you see another car and start finding reasons you don’t like your car. That’s because you never loved that car you liked it. It wasn’t your dream car it was your settle car. You could afford it and you signed. That’s what happens with like. That’s also why some of you guys are driving mini vans. Like is infinitely shorter than love.
Love however, true love, is without boundaries. It is all encompassing. The moment I saw my boys come into this world a wave of emotion like never before swept me away. It was not that “Yeah I like it I guess we can keep it” type of feeling. This was the true feeling of unconditional love. I helped create this beautiful human. Although fresh out the cooter they are not beautiful. They are very alien like, but you still love them. This was a part of me that I could see without looking into the mirror. I don’t know of any parent that had a child willingly and was like nope doc we hate this thing. I know that sounds crazy but once you love, truly love someone that does not go away.
Now in the case of my tribe, I love them, but some days I don’t like them. Hey the list varies from day to day and with each child. If you have not experienced this just give it some time. That sweet little angel that you feel can do no wrong will turn. Whining drives me nuts and they are champions at it. They make Keith Sweat sound like white noise. (If you don’t know who Keith Sweat is go listen to him sing after you read this.) They have a gift for finding just the right pitch. Once acquired they laser focus that in on your last good nerve. I don’t like it. It’s irritating as all hell and they know it. Not to sound like a total turd but leaving tops off water bottles drives me crazy too. Mainly because they are five, accident prone, and tend to find the most expensive things to spill by. Not flushing the toilet is another. Yes that is a wide range I just laid out but it’s real. Yes I have heard of the yellow, let it mellow, brown, flush it down. I’m more of a flush the damn toilet guy. Sorry mother earth. As every parent and human in the world I don’t like repeating the same thing every day multiple times. Anyone care to explain there will never be a school morning you don’t need to get dressed? Same with brushing your teeth. Maybe in college, but by then I won’t give a shit if you brush your teeth because you are grown. Yet this is the speech given every morning. Again I don’t like any of it but I love them. I understand that they are just like me and mom. We both can be assholes so it’s only right our kids have the same tendencies. Truth be told we want them to keep some of that vigor. It’s needed in the real world. Just stop being asses to us. We love you. We feed you, clothe you, and keep you smelling good. I know I’m not alone in this and to the ones who feel they are, you are not.
It’s ok not to like. You’re the parent you don’t have to like anything. But you must love them. Love them so they love you back. Teach them that in life even they are not going to like things. I keep my communication with my sons clear. You won’t like everything daddy asks, or tells you to do. That’s fine you don’t have to like it. You still have to live with it and follow the rules. Everything said and done is out of love. As most three year olds do when they throw tantrums they say mean things, like I don’t like you. To that I say, I don’t like you either kid. I love you.