Gifts for Dad ➔

I am a mother of six childrenthree are adults and three are not far behind. Being a parent to adults has been a learning curve for me. They are no longer in my house, and I cannot speak into their lives on a daily basis or send them to their rooms. 

A while back, my oldest son stopped by late. He is newly married and in the midst of moving. He was sharing with me some of his stressors. I tried not to jump in with advice; adult children often hear unsolicited advice as criticism. As they figure out life, they don’t always appreciate us jumping in to solve it. I have spent my entire life advising these kids, so it is hard to keep quiet and listen. But I know my listening is what he needed.

RELATED: The Echoes of a Mother’s Love Remain After the Kids Are Grown

I could have given many pieces of advice. But if I could distill it down to one thing, I would want him to know God’s love.

Here is what I would say:

Dear Davis,

When you kids were little, no matter what you were doing, I had my heart and my eyes focused on you. When you hid, I always knew the obvious bump under the blanket was where you were. Even though you thought your hiding spot was brilliant.

On the day you decided to run away from home, I had my eyes on you the entire time. I was ready to rush out the door to grab you if you went too far, yet you felt brave and alone.

I obviously never mistook you for Buzz Lightyear. But you were convinced you were the spitting image of him.

Little kids are so funny like that. They have so much faith in what they believe. To a child, anything seems possible. You really can be Buzz Lightyear or the Little Mermaid. You can run away and jump a train and be a hobo. You can hide under a blanket, and all the while not realize your mother knows exactly where you are.

As adults, we are like the little kids we used to be. We do the same things: we hide, we question. We think we have all the answers or none of them. We try to pretend to be who we are not. We think God does not see or care.

All the while, we are seen and loved by God.

We are all in the center of God’s hands no matter where we go, what we believe, or what choices we make.

Some choices in life are harder. Some have more consequences than others, but no matter what, we are surrounded by His love. He loves us and watches over us no matter what. Nothing can change that fact.

No matter what, I will love you and pray for you. I know how much I love you. But it is nothing compared to the love of God.

There is so much going on in your world. You are trying to get jobs, move, and learn to be married and all those changes are stressful. Life will be full of stress, choices, and changes. But God’s love does not change. You are in His hands every moment of every day, always. I wish there were some way we could let that sink in. It would change the way we live.

It is hard to be a parent. There is so much riding on it. You don’t just have to clothe, feed, and keep your child safe—you also have to teach and train your child for life. As a parent, you want so much to get it right, and you never know if you are doing it right. I know we did a lot of things right and probably a lot of things wrong

Looking back, I know I showed you and taught you kids to love. You are all amazing people. But I wish I would have told you 500 times a day how loved you were and not just by me, but by God. I know I told you God loved you but I wish and still long for it to seep into your souls.

RELATED: I Hope I Loved You Enough Today

It’s not too late. Here is what I want you to remember:

You are loved by God and He holds you close. Nothing you can do can ever separate you from that love.

He cares for us.

He watches over us.

He works for our good.

He not only sees but loves.

Look for His love in the midst of your day. Look for His love in the joyful times but especially the times of sorrow.

Let His love fill you.

Please know I am praying for you.

Love, 
Mom

Previously published on the author’s blog

Amy Brown 

Amy Brown is a wife, mom, and mentor. She writes about parenting, special needs, adoption, and the spiritual life.

Thanks For Leading by Example, Mom

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Adult woman and mother smiling, color photo

Dear Mom,  Thinking back on my life as a child, young adult, and now a middle-aged mother myself, I am indebted to you for the many life lessons you have taught me—some directly, mostly leading by precious example.  If I have any bones to pick with you, it could be that you made it all look so easy. So very, very easy! Marriage, motherhood, working outside the home, relationships with in-laws, relationships with co-workers, relationships with church friends, and just relationships in general. I hardly ever saw you cry. The few times I did see you cry stand out to...

Keep Reading

To the Emotional Mom of a High School Senior, Enjoy It

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in graduation gown, color photo

Dear moms of high school seniors, I see your posts on social media, and I sense your excitement, mixed with anxiety and a bit of sadness (if we are being completely honest). I notice your photos of all the lasts, and I celebrate your child’s accomplishments with you. I see you, and I know you because I have been you, twice now.  I feel the almost palpable sinking feeling that hits in the pit of your stomach when you think about them moving on to the next stage. How is it possible they have grown from such a tiny, helpless...

Keep Reading

A Mom Never Stops Wondering if She Did Enough

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Mom and teen son

Two days before my first child left for college, I swallowed tears passing the chocolate milk in the grocery store. I did not need to buy it. Every time I saw someone that summer, they would ask, “Are you ready”? Is he ready?” And the answers were always no and yes. I did not want to let go. I wanted to relive and hold on (one more Cubs game, one more of your favorite dinners) and teach any last-minute things I had forgotten over 18 years (laundry sorting? self-check-in at O’Hare?). But those were the small things. In my heart,...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

There Are No Mother’s Day Cards For Broken Relationships

In: Grown Children

Every May, I wrestle with, what is for me, the most highly fraught holiday of the year—Mother’s Day. As I stand staring at the abundance of cards produced by companies such as Hallmark, American Greetings, and the like, I wonder if any of the card writers ever wrestle with finding just the right wording for a card as much as I wrestle with trying to find the most ideally worded card.  While there are a variety of options to choose from—sentimental to faith-based to funny—I’m on the hunt for something different. A card that captures the true essence of my...

Keep Reading

After My Mom Died, I Carried the Grief of Those Around Me

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss

When the phone rang at 4:30 in the morning, I knew immediately who it was and what she was going to tell me. It was sweet Betty, and she was calling to tell me Mom was gone. My mom had cancer and dementia and had been in hospice care for the past month.  She was still breathing but no longer living. I knew the call was coming. I was expecting it, so I was prepared. Or so I had told myself up until 4:29 a.m. But I was not prepared. I was not all right. I was wrecked. I was...

Keep Reading

A Mother Doesn’t Stop Being a Mother When Her Son Is Grown

In: Grown Children, Motherhood

I saw you in pain today. Not a physical pain, where I could hand you a Band-Aid or two Advil and provide reassurance that the hurt will go away. You tried to mask the agony by hiding in your room. But it was too obvious to miss. When you were a child, I could place you in my lap, hug you tight, and whisper, “Everything will be alright.” I could protect you from scary monsters and the neighborhood bully. Reluctantly, you would tell me your fears—you talked, I listened. Then, I talked, and you listened. We’d recite a line from...

Keep Reading

Something Beautiful Happens When Your Parents Become Grandparents

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Grandpa with his grandson, color photo

Sometimes I watch my parents with my children, and I wonder who are these people and what happened to the people who raised me? Something changed in my parents when they became grandparents, I think. It’s like life offered them a second opportunity at getting it right. A second chance at being good parents to small children. And they jumped at that opportunity like into a refreshing pool on a hot, sticky, humid day, reemerging from its depth brand new, shiny people. Suddenly, things that were egregious for them when my brother and I were children don’t matter anymore. Whenever...

Keep Reading

Moments Become Memories When You’ve Lost a Parent

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss

Last weekend, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. It was a joyous occasion honoring a remarkable woman. It was also a devastating reminder that my mother is gone, that she will never celebrate her 80th birthday, or any birthday, ever again.        There is no way to prepare for the pain of losing a parent. It’s like being forced into an oddly exclusive club you never knew existed. Only after experiencing it can you understand the grief, the void, the all-consuming feelings of sadness. RELATED: To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent When my mom...

Keep Reading

The Connection Between a Mother and Son Changes But Never Breaks

In: Grown Children, Motherhood

Words, phrases, entire sentences left my son’s mouth at the dining room table as if he were speaking a foreign language: cryptocurrency, NFTs, digital reality, avatars, metaverse real estate. Not unlike the time he used his eight years of Mandarin to order dinner at Tang Pavilion. My husband nodded and responded in the same dialect. The words floated in the air as I sat with a dopey look on my face, like a toddler seeing a soap bubble for the first time. The years of skipping the Business section in favor of The Arts had finally caught up to me....

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections