To my teenager,
I’m trying to let you go, believe me, I am. But it’s hard. Excruciatingly, painfully hard. The world is a dangerous, scary place and gets worse every day. I cringe watching the news and hearing about more children missing or hurt or worse. I’m terrified of letting you out of my sight. But I do, for I know you need to spread your wings and start discovering who you truly are.
I know you tire of my warnings—be aware of your surroundings, keep your phone turned on—but please let me say them. They’re not just for you, but for my sanity as well.
When you make mistakes, and you’ll make plenty, I struggle with not swooping down and trying to fix them. This is the time when you need to learn, more than ever, how to fix them on your own. I’m here, though, if you want to talk it through or need a little advice.
When your heart breaks and you try so hard not to show it, I cry inside right along with you.
You hold your feelings clutched to your chest, not wanting me to know. But I see you, I feel you. Even though it takes great restraint, I give you your space even though I want to hug you tight.
I know you’re feeling so many different emotions now. I, too, once had them. I know it’s hard for you to think that once I was a teenager like you and you say times have changed. Yes, time changes, technology changes, but feelings, feelings never change. Generation upon generation before you have felt these same feelings. I’m here to help navigate if you ever choose to confide.
I know it’s hard to see past yourself and your friends. It’s hard to think about the future. But every decision you make can impact how your future will turn out. I will still guide you, nag you when needed, for you to make the best choices.
When you yell at me, call me stupid, and plain out disrespect me, I will punish you.
But I also know it’s a rite of teenagedom. Even though it was many moons ago, I remember fighting my mother every step of the way. It is my hope, as it was hers, that someday you’ll realize everything I have done was to push you to bring out your best qualities.
My dear child, I carried you for those long months, watched as you learned to crawl then walk, kissed your boo-boos all better, but you no longer need me or want me there every step of the way. And I know that’s how it should be as you grow into a young adult. But it’s still hard. You’ve moved from depending on me for your every need to the more independent every day you are now.
I will support you, I will fight with you, and I will push you to be the best you you can be.
And never forget, no matter what, I will always love you.