If you are the mother of a teenage boy, you need to hear this one.

Your child loves you.

I know that’s the question niggling at the back of your mind sometimes.

Because so many days when he walks through the door, he grunts. He rolls his eyes. He looks at you like you are the stupidest person to ever breathe air.

You look up and smile when he comes home. You cheer at every single one of his sporting events. You welcome his friends and keep snacks stocked in the pantry and ask about his day and how his classes are going. You pray and you love and you show up again and again and again.

And sometimes, you wonder quietly if he hates you.

He told you that once. And occasionally his loud sighs remind you.

He still blames you for sending him to the wrong school. He promises that you are the strictest parents of all his friends. Sometimes he tells you he wants to live far away from here after college.

Dear Teenage Son, I Know I’ve Got To Let You Go, But Give Me Time

And it hurts.

But . . . 

He’s lying.

The truth is, HE is hurting.

Life is hard. Friendships and high school classes and attempting to navigate romantic relationships and a-hole coaches and all of the pressures of being a teenager and “What are you going to do after high school?” is just plain HARD.

So, sometimes after a particularly awful day he comes home and hands all his hurt to YOU.

And it’s not because he hates you.

Quite the opposite, actually.

It’s because he loves you.

You See a Teenage Boy, I See My Baby and Every Moment In Between

And he feels so LOVED by you that he knows you’ll never leave. You’ll never walk away. You’ll never, ever stop loving him.

He trusts you. He needs you.

He feels the safest in the world when he is with YOU.

You are the mother of a teenage boy growing up in an awfully hard life.

And you’re doing a beautiful job walking along beside him and loving him through.

Keep showing up.

Your child LOVES you.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page.

Mikala Albertson

Mikala is a wife, family practice doctor turned mostly stay-at-home mom to five kids, and writer. She is the author of Ordinary On Purpose: Surrendering Perfect and Discovering Beauty Amid the Rubble available wherever books are sold. Mikala writes to give you permission to release your grip on all the should-dos and have-tos and comparisons and “I’m not measuring up”s and just be free to live your life. THIS life, however imperfect. In this body with these relationships in this house at this job with these parents and these circumstances. Your ONE precious, beautiful life! Join her on Facebook and Instagram.