to my teen who has left me

I still love you.

I don’t know how else to say it other than with those words. I added still because I’m thinking you might be worried that my love is conditional, but sweet one that I once held in my arms, you might not realize something – I will always love you. Even in the moments where my heart is so rejected, so hurt, so unlike what I thought motherhood would be.

You see, motherhood and life isn’t easy. I know you know it. I do too.

And now my heart feels empty, in a way, because you aren’t here.

You might not want to hear that either. I get that. But despite the emptiness I will not give up on loving you. I will be the one standing at the door waiting for you to come home. Every morning, every night, every morning, every night. And maybe it is not even physically walking up the steps, maybe it is a simple thing, a text saying, hello.

But I will be waiting.

With open arms.

Us moms don’t ever think about these moments when you are little. I don’t think any of us ever wanted this to be our story. I didn’t want it to be yours, oh I didn’t. I was the one would rock you for hours and sit up with you when you were sick and carry your from the car to your room.

I remember that little you and me. You were the one who I had to peel off of me during my Bible study class hour. The gals in the nursery would try and try to soothe you, but you only wanted one thing – me. I remember those days, how frustrating they were back then, but funny thing about life, now I would give anything for just a fraction of that need and love. Oh for just a small bit of that love again.

Why oh why, was it frustrating to be needed when now I would give anything just to hear your voice?

I remember your freedom, your laughter.

You. My son.


I’m not angry at you.

Oh please know that more than anything. I am not angry. It is not my job to be angry, it is my job to love.

I know that you are dealing with things too. I know that you need to figure stuff out. I know that your heart might not be ready to come running back to mine. I know that divorce wasn’t in your plans either. And all this other stuff. And because I know I love.

I will wait.

I will not only wait, but I am here.

That is what motherhood, what life is about. It’s being there when life isn’t perfect. It’s being there without sleep and with tears. It’s being there waiting up hoping for a call. It’s being there and letting the tears fall. It’s being so much there that sometimes you let go for the greater good.

Just like I didn’t give up on you then, I will not give up on you now.

You are strong, I am strong.

You are brave, I am brave.

You are valuable, I am valuable.

You are my son, I am your mom.

And that will never change.

As the holidays come, there will be gifts with your name on them. Not out of obligation, but out of love.

The moment you were born my heart changed. It got a bit bigger, it learned to love more. And just because we are in this space doesn’t mean the space in my heart shrinks. In fact, my son, I think it’s grown.

love you forever, like you for always.


Written rawly from me to my fifteen year old son who I haven’t seen in five months. I know there are so many of you in this spot, this spot of motherhood that you never thought you’d be in. I am sorry. But know that you are a good mom, even in this place. This season hurts, but you are valuable, worthy and enough. And you are not alone.

8 Responses to “to my teen who has left me”

  1. February 24, 2019

    Cindy Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. My 16 year old daughter moved in with her father when she was 15 and I haven’t seen her in almost 3 months. The love I have for her will never change. The heartache you feel, I completely understand. The struggle of motherhood is hard. Prayers and big hugs!

  2. February 24, 2019

    C Reply

    More xoxoxo
    All the xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  3. February 24, 2019

    Michelle Reply

    Us moms all have a different story, but somehow many of our stories are relatable. And I think it’s so helpful to each other that we share. I am also divorced and I have a 20 year son who lives with his dad. It’s been tough, but we aren’t alone. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. February 24, 2019

    Tanya Reply

    My almost 20 year old daughter moved away with a boy that isn’t good for her and I haven’t see her since Christmas Day and very few text. She announced on FB a wedding date but I haven’t been told by her when it is. My heart hurts daily.

  5. February 24, 2019

    April Reply

    Thank you for this letter. It has been 10 years since I have seen my daughters. Now 18 and 22. Had no option in the matter. Not a single day has gone by without my heart aching for them.

  6. February 24, 2019

    PWalker Reply

    Thank you for sharing! God bless you and your family. I’m a father who has been washed out of my 17 year old son’s life for nearly 3 years now. It’s unimaginable until experienced.

  7. February 26, 2019

    Patricia bender Reply

    I know this will be my future and I wept while reading. My once closer than ever son is 18 now and almost a stranger.. Seems out of my control. I try to make the smallest connection to no avail..thank u for your story

  8. February 26, 2019

    Anonymous Reply

    If only the truth was told.

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