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How do you tell your teenage daughter you love her?

Updated on May 29, 2014
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To My Daughter

How do I tell you I love you? Do I say it in words? Do I show it in actions? Do I demonstrate it by my behaviour? When you were very small, it was unquestionably, unilaterally all 3. I probably told you at least a million times a day how much I loved you. I'd pick you up, toss you up and down and shower you with kisses. When you were playing, I'd watch you benevolently and an interruption from you when I was working was never a disturbance. In fact, it was a welcome escape! If I spoke about you to friends and family, whether you were in the room or not, you were always spoken of with pride. You were my everything and you could do no wrong. How did I tell you I loved you? In every way possible. By protecting you, keeping you warm and safe with a full tummy and pretty clothes (Not always the best hair but a mom has to do what a mom has to do!)

Then you got older

Your needs changed. I could still say "I love you" a million times a day. I couldn't toss you up in the air any more but there was still plenty of room on my lap. Your world began to expand. That expansion brought with it different needs. Needs that I had to work harder to address. That expansion gave you ideas. Ideas that were no longer only my ideas. All of a sudden I had to deal with 2 very big things: The loss of my "mini-me" and the bruise to my ego! I was no longer your world. I was in many ways, still the center of your world but it was only the center WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. The hardest part for me was that you were still MY world. Everything else took back seat. It made it harder for me to reconcile the girl growing up before my very eyes with the baby girl I held in my arms. So I tried to demonstrate it by bringing and doing the things you loved. It was a kitten, favourite food, clothes. That worked sometimes but you still grew up and grew away. Like you were supposed to. It was hard, but I understood! And I learned. I learned how to be myself and not only your mother.

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Still mugging for the camera! | Source

I grew up

I began to make a life for myself. Work and friends had more time from me. My social life grew. My baby continued to grow into a beautiful young woman.Oh, how I loved you and admired you. I still wanted to tell you about a million times a day. I could still hug and kiss you and you know you will never be too big to sit on my lap! But I know I didn't always demonstrate it. I became frustrated with you. I would be on the phone or writing, You would come in to talk and I would rush you along or roll my eyes. I did love you. I just had less time. When did that happen? How did we remain so close yet grow so far apart? When did you realize that I wasn't always right and decide to find answers on your own?

"A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."

– Agatha Christie

How do I tell you I love you? I still think it about you a million times a day. I still talk about you with pride to family and friends. I talk to you. I listen to you. I respect you. I write about you...a lot! I sometimes still roll my eyes (I'm trying!) and I often don't agree with you but my arms and lap will always be open for you. I will always be your crying shoulder. I love you.

One of the best gifts you ever gave me was this song:

And now:

And now my beautiful baby is going to be a mother, too. Words cannot express the joy and excitement I feel. I am thrilled beyond thrilled for you and, selfishly, for me too! How do I tell you I love you? By hoping that your child gives you even half the pleasure that you have given me! How do I tell you I love you? I just say it. I love you!

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    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      mommymaya, thank you for reading and commenting! Yes, my baby went away last year for the first time. We weren't very good at Skype but we tried. Facebook was a good way to "see" each other and leave little messages. It was hard, especially when she was the only one home with me for the previous 4 years. i hope it gets easier and I bet you are looking forward to the holiday time and spending more time with her! Enjoy!

    • mommymaya profile image

      mommymaya 5 years ago from Arkansas

      This is a beautiful tribute to give to your daughter. My girl just went away to college clear across the country and I miss her so much. Half the time I only get her on Skype or Facebook. I always take the time to make sure she knows how much she means to me. And yes, even when they are not being "stellar" it is important that they still always know. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Sheila! I actually wrote this a while ago when she was being less than stellar! I wanted her to know that regardles of her behavior, I would always love her. I only added the last paragraph today because it was getting zs today! I always cry when I write to her and I have written several hubs/blogs to her. She is my everything! Along with her brother. (I write a lot of posts to him also!) Thank you so much for reading, commenting , voting and sharing! I'm sorry I made you cry but I'm also glad that you understand how I feel about my baby girl!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I am having to choke back the tears!!! I have never mentioned this on HubPages before, just because I don't like the words, "step-mother". The sons I speak of are actually my step-sons. They became my "sons" at ages 6 and 10. Their mother lives in the same town, but the oldest boy lived with us since my hubby and I married when he was 10. The youngest boy continued to live with his mom. Anyway... our daughter, Jenna, is my "only child". I was 31 when I had her and she has been my world ever since. Her dad and I have been happily married for 26 years now, but there is nothing more important to me than my "little girl". Your words are an echo of my feelings! I was so hard for me to see my little girl grow up and need someone other than her mom. I am very proud of her, she is a wonderful wife and mother now. I am very happy for her, but still wish I could turn back time sometimes and she could be my little girl again. This is a beautiful hub! I know this had to bring tears to your eyes as you were writing it! I know your daughter loved it and will always treasure this! Voting up, awesome and definitelly sharing! :)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so very, very much, Tess! Yes, girls are interesting. My baby is 19 and very warm and loving yet also has that sarcastic touch that is unique only to girls! My son, on the other hand, is 22 and pretty straightforward. He is not as demonstrative as his sister but is very loving and lovable, indeed! I have raised them by myself for the past 7 years and sometimes I think they resent me almost as much as their father but most of the time, we are a pretty special unit of 3. My name btrbell comes from our initials, Ben, Randi and Tori! Thank you so much for all your votes and always insightful comments! Much love back to you! Randi

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I have two girls, one is 22 and the other is 16.

      The younger one, when she says softly and sweetly, "I love you, mom", it is very easy for me to reply back "I love you too, honeybunch!"

      And when my 22 year old would say sarcastically, "MOM, I love you!", she would find me quiet, just concentrating on Hubpages, hahaha. Then, she'll repeat it, "MOM, I said, I love you, mom", then, I reply, "Love you too, sweetheart." But then she'll say, "No, you don't." "Yes, I do. I love you, I love you, I love you, sweetheart." She'd say again, "Shush mom, you're just saying that but you don't mean it." I get up, leave my laptop, and hug her and smother her with kisses while she's giggling and trying to get away. "MOM, I just said I love you and all you have to do is reply, not hug and kiss me!" ....lol

      Thank you for this hub, as a mother myself, it is a touching read too. One day my girls will leave me. Even now, I am already yearning for their attention and affection, to come with me when I invite them to come with me. But they have their own interesting lives with friends they rather spend time with. And I make sure I tell them in advance so they can fix a schedule with mom. :)

      Useful, beautiful and interesting, btrbell! Much love to you and hubhugs! ~Tess