Confession: I am a Parenthood fan. I started watching the very first season because as a Gilmore Girls fan, I will never be able to get enough of Lauren Graham. Who wouldn’t just want to follow Lorelei around for the rest of their lives? Six seasons later, I have never gone a week without missing an episode of Parenthood, this epic show that give me a glimpse of what may be headed my way.
This final season has brought so many questions and tears.
Tonight however, something struck me. Something which I was not expecting.
Ruby is the teenage daughter to Hank. Ruby and Hank are supporting characters and really making a good storyline in this last season of the show. Ruby is left home alone and she lies to her dad, Hank and throws a pretty epic high school party. When she is caught, she tells her dad, “I hate you”.
As I watched the show so many emotions flooded over me. I have been Ruby. I have lied and manipulated my father. I have invited friends over to party in the basement of my childhood home on Sycamore Creek Dr. I have been Ruby. When I was caught, the only words I knew to express I was feeling ashamed were the words, “I hate you”.
My childhood was far from perfect and I rebelled and said those words so many times. To my father. To my mother.
It stings my heart now to relive those moments when I looked my mother in the eyes and said, “I hate you”. It stings because she is not here now for us to be close and live in harmony like most teenage girls get to grow up and do with their mothers.
Like Ruby, I have said, “I hate you” to my parents. Like Ruby, I never meant it. I hated my situation. I hated being caught. I hated the humiliation. But, I never really hated my parents. My mom. And even my dad.
As I watched tonight I blinked and thought about my own childen saying the words “I hate you” to me. Their mother. You know, the one that has been there for every midnight fever, bad day at school, last minute assignment and literally used my body to give them essential nutrients for close to two years. (Pregnancy and the first year of breastfeeding- it’s amazing if you breastfeed for longer… I just count down the days until my children hit their first birthday or are ready to wean.)
I think about my four children ages five and under and it is very difficult for me to think about the words “I hate you” coming out of their sweet little mouths. It’s difficult because we are in a season where they love me. They kiss me. They hug me. We are in a season where at bedtime we try to top each other with who loves the other more or who can blow the last kiss good night.
We are in a season of “I love yous” but I’m too intelligent to believe this will prevent us from a season of “I hate yous”.
When that season comes, I hope I will be wise enough to remember my children are just trying to communicate, “I am hurting”.
In the season of “I hate yous” I hope I remember the season of “I love yous”. Like God is screaming in this moment right now, “REMEMBER, they love you”.
Remember they love you because of the moments when that baby smiles like you light up the room for her.
Remember they love you because of the moments when your toddler wants to hold your hand.
Remember they love you because of the moments when they say they want to marry you and you are their best friend.
Remember they love you because of the moments when they beat you to infinity or “more than anything that God made”.
I hope to prepare for the season of “I hate yous” by remembering the season in which God has me right now. I am not above the season of “I hate yous” I will absolutely not be a cool teenage parent. I will be a parent and that alone will bring on the piercing wounds.
I believe God is giving me now so I can prepare for the stings of “I hate yous”. So I can prepare for the breaks of my heart.
Now, I am storing up all the “I love yous” for the moments when I could be standing in front of my teenager hearing the “I hate yous” just like Hank and Ruby.
Maybe it will sting a little less if I can prepare for them now.
Maybe God wants us to remember the nows and store them up to prepare for the moments of “I hate yous”.