So many things in our life involve a love hate relationship.
One example that comes to mind was my stint as a firefighter. It was a three year stint with an on call fire department in the far north metro area. Being a part of the organization was fun, and generated a sense of pride. My sons thought it was pretty cool too.
We will get back to them.
Going to school, and getting formal training was educational and fun. Shuttling water back and forth between a real fire call and the fire hydrant, not so much fun. Fighting a practice fire in an old trailer house, terrifying, but exhilarating. Spending two hours dumping water on an ancient barn that burned down hours before we got there, not so much fun. Fighting a grass fire in ninety degree heat, well that just plain sucked.
Being a firefighter was a love hate relationship.
This was brought to my attention by one of the younger members of the team when I took my sons to go see the fire station. He was sitting at the large table we used for small meetings and paper work. I think he was doing homework or something like that.
“How do you like being a dad?” He asked me as I finished up the firehouse tour.
“Oh, it has its ups and downs.” I replied, thinking of the moments I was proud of them, and the moments, not so much.
“So your saying it is a love hate relationship.” He asked in reply.
I looked at him, weighing my response, not really wanting to tag fatherhood with the “hate” moniker. “Something like that, maybe hate is to strong, but yes, something like that.” I finally said.
This young man paused a second, then said. “Kind of like firefighting.”
I smiled as the correlation instantly clicked into my head. “Yes, kind of like firefighting.”
Parenthood is a love hate relationship. I never hated my kids, don’t even make that connection. But there were times, where I hated being a parent. Those times were always when my kids screwed up, and I needed to punish them. My sons were good kids, so when they did screw up bad enough for me to really punish them, I hated it.
Grounding them, or taking away something they really liked was one of the hardest things I did in my life. Hell, having them stand before me while I lectured them was no picnic either. Seeing disappointment on their face came in a close second, to punishing them. I hated falling short when it came to delivering something I promised.
Then there is exercising. Running to be precise.