Just a few weeks into school and you’re already home sick. I hate that you have to be absent from school right out of the gate and you feel like you are missing out on all. the. things. already.
But I want you to know that having you home has been kind of wonderful for me. We usually spend our days rushing you everywhere, so having you home sick gave us a chance to just settle in and rest, lay low and not feel the hustle of how our life usually rolls.
Your presence here with me all day has filled an empty piece of my heart that will continue to grow bigger as you grow older. You are so much more independent these days and I know you will continue to grow up and away from me. So, I’m soaking in these moments with you and appreciating this rare time we have together.
Sure, you’re contagious, but I don’t care. I just want to snuggle on the couch with you and watch Netflix because that’s just what moms do. I can make you chicken noodle soup and refill your water and dispense your meds, and it feels a little like those days long ago, when you were my baby boy.
It feels a little like I’m your mama again.
When you’re sick, you soften up and let your teenage guard down enough to settle into my arms much more easily- and I can feel your need for me to care for you, console you, comfort you. You rarely have that need these days. The distance keeps widening as you grow older into your teen years, and it’s been hard for me to adapt to all these changes in you, in us, in our lives as you grow up and start letting go of me.
I know you still love me, but other things are far more important to you now. I get it. I really do.
You have lots going on in your life and your priorities are shifting and that’s okay, that’s how it’s supposed to be. I want that for you! You have built an incredible life for yourself right now, full of friends and school, and all your sports. It’s exactly what you should be doing at your age and I’m so proud of you.
I just want you to know that when you start feeling better and get back into your busy independent life again, just remember your mama is always right here. We can spend quiet time together not only when you’re sick. You might want it because you’re hurting, you’re stressed, or you’re simply needing to feel loved and cared for when the world doesn’t offer those things to you.
Life gets harder as you get older.
I know you are already feeling so much pressure from your peers to be a grown man and act older and be stronger. But even grown men need to feel cared for and loved.
You’re not supposed to do it all alone. No one can do life alone no matter how old they are. So, reach out to me and be assured that even though you don’t see it happening, your teenage friends need the same things from their moms too. No one shares that part of their personal lives, because teenage boys often feel forced to be brave, be impenetrable, be tough. Don’t believe it! It’s simply not true. Everyone needs someone to lean on, sometimes.
So, remember I’m always here for you, whether you’re sick or questioning your circumstances or doubting your decisions. I’m here to rest with you, to encourage you and most of all listen to you when you need to feel heard. I will always be here for you when you need to feel cared for and loved.
Don’t ever forget that even teenage boys need all those things too.
This is a contributed post by Christine Carter. She writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and she is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World”. Both sold on Amazon.