the day I found out my son had mono

Was today.

It kind of started off as just another one of those mom days where we don’t realize our strength or impact until it was done. In fact, sweet friend, so often I totally miss the beauty of simply showing up, loving and fighting for my kids.

My thirteen year old has been sick for days. And I’ve been up for nights. And I mean, newborn like awake at nights. My body is not back into random two hour chunks of sleep (hats of to all of you moms with newborns), and yet, because it was my boy, I was there. Helping him up the stairs. Getting him water. Checking the breathing of a boy, turning into a man, who needed his mom.

He did. He needed me.

No longer was there the “cool” teenage boy attitude in play. Instead, it was a boy, the boy I carried and loved and taught to walk and read and run who let go of all the outer stuff and cried out for me. It makes me so teary.  I think it’s so easy to get stuck into thinking that we don’t matter much or that our kids don’t see all that we do or they take us for granted. But you know what? They won’t know how much we did until, laughing, they become parents.

Or they get sick.

And while mono isn’t the end of the world, when you’re thirteen and all of a sudden you’re sleeping more than half the day and walking into the bathroom is more energy then you have, well, then your mom is who you turn to.

We didn’t know it was mono until today. Until we went through a night of him waking like the newborn again, and him whispering to me at 2:30 in the morning how he knew he needed to see a doctor, and him telling me thank you for helping him get water in his worn body. So this morning, this morning, I did what we do as moms. I got on the phone in our new home city and I called and called and called and found a doctor who would accept his insurance who would see him this morning.

And we got in. We got seen. And we got answers.


And we miss that power super much.

We miss when we stay up and when we rock. We miss when we show up to school assemblies. We miss packing lunches and cutting sandwiches. We miss rocking babies to sleep. We miss pushing swings or waiting for texts.

We get so busy doing we miss seeing everything we’ve done.

And that is why today, today I am asking you to stop, just for a moment, and to breathe.

To breathe and see all the things you might have missed in the busy and to exhale knowing you are doing a good job. Yes, yes, a good job.

Motherhood doesn’t mean perfection.

It does mean loving, giving, showing up.

And that? That is what I remembered when I sat in the doctor’s room as the doctor explained how to deal with a swollen spleen and liver and missing school and no gym (to my son’s delight) and dehydration and so forth. And she ended it with this.

You know him, your his mom. Trust your gut. After all, that’s what got you here today.

Trust your gut. See your strength. Love well.

And mother.


ps…if you have any words of wisdom, I’d love to hear. You can share in the comments or on this thread on my facebook page. Thank you. 🙂

3 Responses to “the day I found out my son had mono”

  1. March 29, 2017


    Thank you for this. After spending 14 years as a widowed mom, raising my son single-handedly, my son walked out of our home, and is living with his newly-appointed legal guardians. The “Christian” couple he is living with, literally around the corner from our home, has and continues to fill his mind with lies-how I have been a horrible mother for raising the bar higher and expecting him to do his very best, not simply slapping something together. I have homeschooled him since 8th grade, at HIS request, due to the disrespect and poor attitudes of his classmates; these Guardians have indoctrinated him to believe I refused to provide an “adequate” education, when, in fact, I was educating him in LIFE SKILLS in addition to the “3 R’s,” including helping him to start his own odd job business. We travelled, touring museums and historical sites. We camped, experiencing ecology. We focused on his interests, and he became a well-rounded, well-educated, well-respected young man and businessman. In August of 2016, he stole my car, picked up a minor female in a neighboring State, and drove 800 miles to join a group of “Survivalists.” He transported 3 firearms across MULTIPLE State lines. By the Grace of God alone, no charges were filed. He began becoming more defiant, not completing basic household chores assigned to him, to be completed while I was at work. His “Guardians” have informed me that I need to “let go” of this episode, as he is a “very good boy” and I am over-reacting. They have instructed him that I am being selfish and self-centered because I had to get a job after being a full-time mom to him for 16 years, and that I was forcing him to drive me around all the time-because newly licensed young males despise driving any chance they get. He got a job working at K-Mart, which they declared was just short of violent child abuse-because what 16 yr old has no desire for a level of autonomy and independence, especially when it comes to finance.
    These are some of the accusations they have leveled against me, indoctrinating him in a culture of disrespect and lies about what our lives have been. At no time have they done ANYTHING to effectuate any type of reconcillation; instead, all there efforts have been to divide and conquer.
    Thank you for this uplifting, reassuring piece.

    • March 30, 2017

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Oh Judi — thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Thank you for all that you have done and how you have fought for your son in all things. May you be blessed and may your story have a story of redemption in the months and years to come.


  2. March 31, 2017

    Crystie Reply

    Thank you so much for reminding me that my babies, no matter how old, will always need me in some way. My oldest is only 9 and already there’s a shift. She’s sassy and mama can hardly do anything right. 😉 But, she still needs me desperately and I must not forget this! Thank you! Your words have given me renewed energy!

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