So, children go through many stages of loving parents. When they are newly arrived, they love you unconditionally and depend on you for their every need. As they grow a little, they love to be with you and can't wait to see you. Once they enter school, your influence changes and they become less dependant on you for their emotional needs for socializing. At their peak of change they are teenagers and they feel they don't need you for anything and the love is gone. (at least their admission of LOVE)
As parents your job is to remain constant with your love. It is equally hard for us to continue to love these children the same as they aren't as cute as they used to be with teeth missing, smelly odors, scraggly hair, unshaved faces, and greasy pimply faces from their jobs in fast food. The emotions they share with you are not love as teenagers, but anger, resentment and fear as they learn how to be independant and live without you running their every move.
But finally there is a magic point somewhere that both of you begin to truly love each others company. There is joy shared with each other as you communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings of life. It is a blessed day! Trust me, I am halfway there.
I love my kids and some I can even call my friend! Even when they hit that other stage of independance where they actually 'get it' but love you enough to make serious fun of you, but mean it because they LOVE YOU! Thanks James!