Dear teen boy,
Hey there! If you’re reading this, I’m sure your mom sent this for you to read, and I’m also pretty sure you are rolling your eyes right about now, ready to scan through this quickly and get on with more important things. But before you move on to TikTok or Snap or Insta or whatever video game you’re into these days, I want you to try really hard to stick with me here.
You see, I know your mom drives you crazy sometimes. I know she can be frustrating, dramatic, and annoying. But I would hope you’d like some advice on how to handle her, how to get along better with her when you think she’s being ridiculous. I will make this fairly easy for you. And I’ll try to explain to you, as best I can, why all this matters.
One of your biggest complaints might be that your mom seems to freak out about a lot of things. And all this freaking out makes you uncomfortable, irritated, and embarrassed too. She might freak out over how gorgeous you look when you’re dressed up for homecoming, or at random times when she notices how much you’ve grown. She might stare a little longer at you, teary-eyed, as she talks about your younger years and how her baby boy is becoming a man. She probably oohs and aahs over so many things you do and cheers too loud at your sporting events or says way too many times, how much she loves you.
She might reach for you too often, wanting to hug you and hold you, touch your face, or stroke your hair, and this makes you cringe, so you push her away. She might sigh more often, looking sulky and sad, because you can be harsh with your words and hurtful with your eyes, and this breaks her heart in ways you’ll never understand.
She knows you are changing so fast and she needs to figure out how to love you differently, how to honor your newly forming boundaries, and how to meet your ever-growing needs. And I promise you, she’s working on that. She really is. But here’s the thing, teen boy…
You’ll never comprehend the magnitude of her love.
You can’t remember when you were an infant, where she swaddled you in her arms and held you to her chest for hours at a time. You won’t recall her responding to your cries, or how she rocked you over and over again all through the night. You see, your mom holds all the memories of those years, when she changed your diapers, filled with the horrid stench of poop. Or when she wiped your snotty nose hundreds of times a day, or cleaned up your explosive vomit that most always covered her, whenever you were sick.
You certainly don’t remember how she opened her arms and squealed with delight when you took those wobbly steps toward her for the very first time. You probably can’t remember all the boo-boos she kissed and cleaned and tended to, as you screamed her name and ran to her for comfort and consoling. She took you to doctor visits and dentist visits, specialists and therapists, managing all your medical care while making sure you were growing and developing into a strong and healthy boy.
She walked you into school on that very first day when you were still so young, and she worried about you all day long. She bought your favorite backpacks and clothes, notebooks and pencils, and did everything possible to make your education a positive experience for you. She helped you with homework and met with your teachers and volunteered at classroom parties, so she was well informed and knew how best to help you throughout your grade school years.
She signed you up for various activities you showed an interest in and took you to them too. She organized playdates and planned fun excursions to give you new experiences, and broaden your developing mind through all those stages and phases you went through. She bought your favorite foods, meal prepped and menu planned, cleaned up after your messes, and tucked you in with hugs and kisses and your favorite bedtime stories every night.
You needed your mama for all these things, and your little world was cultivated by her hard work in helping you learn and grow into a happy and well-adjusted boy. Back then, you soaked in all the love she poured out on you. Believe it or not, you even begged for more…
You have no idea how much she did for you. Every minute of every hour of every day, she nurtured your countless needs as you grew. Through incalculable ways, she showed her love for you.
And now that you are changing so fast and maturing so quickly, your mom is both amazed and a little bit sad that her baby boy is fading as this young man comes into view, and she’s just not quite sure what to do. But she’s trying to learn how to love you. I promise, she’s not trying to annoy you.
You need to understand that your mom holds all those pieces of your life in her heart, she holds your history from the day you were born and placed into her arms. She remembers vivid details of it all, and she cherishes all those years she took care of you and she’s not sure how to care for you now. And as you get older and you seem to need her less, as you grow to be more independent and push her away, it breaks her heart a little each day.
So teen boy, let her have those moments. Let her heart swell with all that love and give her just a little more grace, a little more patience, and a lot more freedom to feel it all. I know you don’t like it. I know you want to pull away. I know it might be humiliating in front of other people when at times, it unfolds in a public display.
But, she’s the one who helped you grow to be you, she’s the one who still buys your favorite backpacks and pencils, notebooks and food. She still picks up after you and meal preps and menu plans, and she drives you everywhere too.
You see, your mom shows up for you, over and over again.
So, remember that, would you?
Please don’t dismiss her, don’t be rude. She deserves more from you than eye rolls and heavy sighs. Don’t tell her she’s weird or crazy in how she shows her love for you. Be grateful you have a mom who adores you and works so tirelessly to be there for you too.
I know growing up is hard in so many ways, but having your mom by your side is one of the many things you can count on in your ever-changing world. And that, teen boy, is a gift you best not take for granted.
And if you really stop to think about all she does for you now, and how much she’s done for you through all these years, you might not be as annoyed by all her love. You might even actually appreciate her, and thank her too.