So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

A couple of weeks ago, my son mentioned to my husband that he most likely would not be coming home for his college spring break. He had so many on-campus obligations that getting away seemed almost impossible.

My son, of course, did not mention this to me. I think because he knew how sad I’d be. So he was avoiding that conversation altogether.

Well, yesterday my husband informed me that there had been a change in plans and our son was indeed coming home for spring break, and the airplane tickets had already been purchased. Not only is he coming home, but our son planned his departure to guarantee he’d make it home in time for dinner with the family.

And my heart is so full.

It’s full because of this truth: our children come back to us.

Coming back might look different these days. Now they’ll refer to coming home as a “visit.” They might call the place where they currently spend so much of their time away from us as “home.”

RELATED: My Mama Heart Breaks a Little Every Time You Go

And they come back as different people, too. They come back with laundry and luggage and items you didn’t buy for them and that you’ve never seen before. They come back talking about people you’ve never met. They come back looking different, smelling different, sounding different.

But they come back to us.

They come back to where they can be who they’ve always been, and where they can practice becoming exactly who they’re meant to be.

They come back to us because this is their safe place. This home you’ve given them—whether it’s new or old, big or small, a temporary layover or the place where they were born—it calls them back.

They come back to comfort, to love, to traditions. They come back to where someone is always thinking about them. Dreaming about them. Loving them.

RELATED: The Teenage Years Will Break You

This life may take them far away from us. And the path may not always be easy. For them. For us.

But our children come back to us.

Originally published on No Sick Days For Mom—Cheryl Gottlieb Boxer, Writer

Cheryl Gottlieb Boxer 

Cheryl Gottlieb Boxer resides in New Jersey, where she micromanages a husband, her mostly grown children, and a confounding cockapoo. Her writing has appeared in Kveller, Grown & Flown, Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Motherly, and other online and print publications. You can also find her on Facebook.

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

Dear Sons, as You Become Men

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom and two sons, black-and-white photo

Boys, you are currently 12 and almost 10 years of age. This world in which you find yourselves growing up is much different than the one I maneuvered years ago. There are many things I want you to know. These are just a few . . . Always be kind.  To each other, to yourselves, to your family and friends, even to your enemies. Do not let others abuse and disrespect you. But always start with kindness and hopefully there will be no reason to migrate toward another action. Kindness breeds kindness. Always be kind.  Life is full of victory...

Keep Reading

Where Is the Instruction Manual for Parenting Grown Children?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Two teen boys dressed in suits, color photo

You know what’s really hard? Parenting. You know what’s even harder? Parenting a child who isn’t a child anymore. My husband and I have leveled up.  High school graduation has been a major event in our house for the last two years. It’s an exciting time and a great chance to celebrate the accomplishments of each of our boys individually.  That being said, this level isn’t something you can mentally prepare for. It’s just so much. So much of everything. Exhausting. Gut-wrenching. Exciting. Confusing. Rewarding. Bittersweet.  My son graduated last year, and my bonus son graduated this year. I’m equally proud...

Keep Reading

The Little Boy You Knew is Gone, But What Comes Next is Beautiful Too

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
tween boy

Listen, you guys . . .  That thing they always warn you about? It happens. The little boy with the dimples and the wide smile. The one who begged you to play LEGOs for hours and always said he wanted to marry YOU when he grew up. That little love of your life . . .  Suddenly, you’ll blink and he’ll be turning 12 next week. A full-blown tween. A pre-teen. Practically a teenager. And before you know what is happening, he’ll be obnoxious and run his sassy mouth and roll his eyes and pick fights with his siblings as...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I Fight For My Child in Prayer

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Woman praying

The sound of the screen door slamming shut inches from my face took my breath away. He hesitated for a moment, glaring back at me through the pollen-stained glass window that separated us. He would never admit it, but I knew he was checking to ensure the door did not hit me. He didn’t know how badly I needed that momentary glimpse of my sweet and loving son.  It seemed like just yesterday when I stood in front of the elementary school entrance doors with two tiny arms wrapped around my legs. The little red-haired boy with blue eyes who...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Know How to Be a Mom of Teens, but I’m Learning

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in ocean

I’m a card-carrying baby person. You know the type—the kind of mom who turns into a cooing heap of melty-hearted goo whenever a baby comes into view. I love them when they’re tiny and helpless, when their necks are floppy and their limbs are jelly. I love the way their eyes are deep and knowing and how their heads smell so sweet and fit just right under my chin.  “Give me all the babies,” is a phrase on regular rotation in my vocabulary, and I truly mean it. It’s probably why, at pushing 40, my husband and I just had...

Keep Reading

My Kids Are Teens, but I’m Still a Mom—Please Don’t Forget Me

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mom looking at teen daughter

My kids are teenagers, but I’m still a mom. There are no more diapers to change or sippy cups to fill, but I’m still a mom. My kids can feed themselves and pick out their own clothes (even buy them), but I’m still a mom. There are no more boo-boos to kiss and make better and no more lullabies to sing at night, but I’m still a mom. My kids are teenagers—one is a full-blown, 18-year-old adult—but I’m still a mom. We gush over new moms with snuggly newborns, cooing babies, squishy toddlers, and rambunctious 6- and 7-year-olds. We say...

Keep Reading

I’ll Take Every Hug I Can Get, My Son

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Tween boy on beach

As another school year closes, I’m once again struck by an ethereal sense of being punched in the gut. We have fewer summers left together than summers spent. And you’d much rather spend those with your friends than with your mother. I’m prepping for the daily, “Can I have friends over?” and the daily, “Of course!” because as much as I’d like to say no and go on a hike or to the pool together, this time is for you—to spend with those friends making mistakes and learning about life. It’s been said from the moment you made me Mom:...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Raise Your Babies to Be Little Forever, but I Thought I’d Have More Time

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Little boy peeking over wooden fence, color photo

I can see the yellow blur of the school bus passing in front of my window. Soon my little boy will excitedly burst through the front door with his picture of a giraffe from art class. His big brown eyes will meet mine as I get a toothless “I missed you, Mom” grin. He will tell me everything he had on his tray for lunch, recount the whole soccer game at recess, and share all about that hilarious thing his friend said on the bus. He will then sit on my lap as he takes each school paper out of...

Keep Reading