To my tall people, my teenagers, I need you to know that I see you.
I see you out there in the world, sometimes with your wings spread wide, sometimes trying not to be been seen at all.
I see that sometimes you want us right by your side and other times you want us a million miles away.
And this is probably true sometimes. It’s nothing personal, I know. It’s so not easy, this growing up. And all the good and bad parts have to happen for you to know who you are.
I see you working so hard to live up to all the expectations, those we have for you and those your friends have and even the ones you have for yourself. I see how sometimes the world feels like it’s crashing down when you think you don’t measure up..
And I also see how you shine with pride when you accomplish something new all on your own. You are out in the world, completely separate from our family, a total and complete person who can do so many things you only dreamed of doing a few short years ago. I watch you fly and you take my actual breath away.
I see you wanting to have friends, real and true good friends. I see you sometimes unsure what this looks like. I see the exaltation of finding that one friend, the one who just seems to get you. You’re finding the beginning of your tribe, these friends chosen just by you from families we may not know at all. There is this whole fun world you are creating for just yourself.
And I see the pain in your eyes when the one you called a friend turns out to be the opposite. I know how hard this can be. It gives me flashbacks to being right in your shoes so many years ago. And because I have been there I know that all we can do is remind you that we have your back and always will. But I also know this no longer comforts you as it did when you were just a kid.
I see you sometimes wistfully looking at your younger siblings, wishing for just a moment that you were the size where you could just spend the day building with Legos or being absorbed in American Girl Dolls or when you could fit neatly in my lap where I could easily take your worries away just by letting you crawl in for a moment.
And I see you showing us just how grown up you are. I see you offering to help, holding down an actual job, taking charge, showing up for your siblings and friends in a way that gives me a glimpse into the amazing adult you will be just a few short years from now.
I see you wanting to be your own person. I see your desire to keep your room they way you want and your hair the way your want and to dress the way you want. Even if there are times when you then have no idea what it is that you actually want. Being a teenager does not always make sense, it’s a whole thing isn’t it?
I see you disappointed by what has come out of your own mouth, yet unsure about how to take it back. I know that this is new, this feeling that you just have some things to say and it’s so hard to say them in a way where we understand you and don’t send you to your room.
And I see you saying to the world, here I am. I am ready for this. I see you finding your voice and your passions and your dreams and even the dreams that surprise me fill me with joy because they show me more of you. And man, do I love you.
Most of all, I see you…the wonderful, glorious you that I have adored since you were first placed in my arms.
And I want you to know, you’ve got this. Even when you think you don’t, you do. And even though I know you will say that I HAVE to say this because I’m your mom, it’s because I’m your mom that I am the most qualified to say this.
I’ve known you your whole life and more than anyone I know what you are made of.
And it is good my dear one. It is so good.
I see you….and you are amazing.
This post originally appeared on Perfection Pending
Written by Amy Betters-Midtvedt
“I drink coffee. I hide from my kids. I’m nicer and hug them a lot when I come back out. I write about all of the crazy. I never stop looking for the joy.”