Right now you’re hard. You bury yourself away. I know it’s mostly to escape your siblings. It feels like you’re pushing away more than you’re clinging to. I get it, that’s part of being 13. But man it’s hard. It’s hard on your mama’s heart because I want to pull you close and still be your favorite person like I was when you were younger.

I hear you laugh downstairs at shows I don’t understand. You want to be with your friends more than you want to be with us. Having to hang for required family night brings out your protests almost weekly, though you know it’s a thing.

Again, I get it—you’re finding who you are.

Then there are days like today. Today when you sang your little sisters’ favorite bedtime songs to them, I thought my heart would melt. Tonight when you told me you miss me letting you pick the movie for family movie night and having extra talks because it made you feel special, my heart sang. I miss that too—so, so much. When you told me you didn’t mind a side hug when your friends were around, just not a full-on hug, I smiled big, real big.

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I need moments like that. I need to know you still need me. I need to know the special little things we do like sing songs, make a difference. My mama heart needs that. I need to know that we’ve given you wings to fly, but you know I’m your safe place. While I don’t expect you to use those words, I now know I’m alright enough in your book to make physical contact in front of your friends, and that’s pretty darn special when you’re the mom of a teenager.

God knew what He was doing when He spaced you out from your siblings. He knew you being the oldest would be hard on this mama’s heart.

Learning to let go when I want to cling tight is an art I’m still learning. He knew I’d need your siblings to be at an age where they still think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. When you push and I have to let go, their arms are there for a ready hug. They’re there for me to make those memories with, which I hope will be my reprieve when they hit their teenage years.

I know you’re learning who you are without me, and I’m trying hard to let it happen.  The truth is, I’m trying to learn who I am without you needing me all of the time. We’re navigating this thing together, kiddo. Just like we’ve done since day one, we’ll figure it out. This hard part will pass, the more we figure out. You’ll learn to fly, and I’ll be beaming with pride when you take off.

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In the meantime, I’ll cherish days like today when I get to see glimpses of the girl who thought I hung the moon and who’ll keep me going through the hard times, and hopefully, it’ll keep you going too.

You’ve got my heart kiddo, and I’m here for all of the ups and downs no matter how hard it is on this mama heart of mine.

Holly Lemons

Blessed by God to be the mommy to four beautiful girls, wife to one amazing husband, and an elected official. Crazy, a little...blessed beyond what I deserve!