As the pandemic has separated us from those we love, I’ve been surprised by some of the people I miss the most. 

Maybe you can relate. 

One of the most surprising, yet, simultaneously unsurprising, findings I’ve made is that some of the people I miss the most are my daughter, Olivia’s, friends.

To my daughter’s friends, aka the “total package,” I miss you.

I miss your belly laughs, erupting from the inside jokes that only you girls, and those you let in on them, like your moms, understand. 

I miss you groggily shuffling to the table for breakfast after staying up way too late for a sleepover at our house.

I miss cheering you on at your school events and reporting back to your moms how well you did.

I miss coordinating plans for our families to meet up somewhere so everyone can hang out. 

I miss hearing you talk about boys, and grades, and all the things that are normal in your 12-year-old lives. 

I miss you. 

I know just how much my daughter, who’s blessed by your friendship, misses you, too. 

It makes me miss you even more. 

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I miss you for your sake. I miss you for hers. Yes, I even miss you for mine. 

You fill all of our lives—hers, mine, our family’s—with fun, laughter, and even at your age, faith, and wisdom. 

As the days likely become harder, as we navigate the school year, and we, as parents, make decisions that may lead to even longer periods of separation for you, know that it’s hard on me, as a mother, to see my daughter separated from you. 

You, her friends, are like daughters to me. 

COVID-19 may have changed our world, our ability to spend time together the way we’re used to, but what it hasn’t changed, what it can’t change, is your friendship. 

What a pandemic can’t and won’t change is how much you mean to me and to my daughter. 

Pandemic or no pandemic, you are an important part of our lives. 

I can’t wait for the day until I hear your belly laughs in person again. 

RELATED: Dear Tween Daughter, While You’re Still Mine

I can’t wait to make you breakfast and hear about how tired you are after you stayed up so late. 

I can’t wait to see you shine in your school activities.

I can’t wait for Olivia to hug you. 

Get ready, because I’ll be hugging you, too. 

Melissa Ohden

Melissa Ohden is a well-known Christian and Pro-Life Speaker. She is the author of the award-winning book, You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir. Melissa is a frequent guest on radio programs such as Focus on the Family, the BBC, and the Mike Huckabee show. Melissa’s a frequent contributor to sites including The Mighty, LifeNews, and Fox News. Melissa, her husband Ryan, and daughters Olivia and Ava reside in Kansas City, Missouri.