Dear precious life-giving Mother,

You have already done a brilliant job of loving your son well. To support your son and his masculine journey, and to give your blessing to time away with his father, in the presence of other men, fathers, and sons, is truly a selfless gift. And although this has been most undoubtedly with your son and his father in mind, I trust that it will also benefit you too, and your relationship with your son. There are many mothers who hang on too tight, unknowingly hampering their son’s masculinity, as they traverse the awkwardness of their emerging manhood. But not you. You have sacrificed time, finances, and your heart. I know this well. It was not easy for me to watch my two eldest sons (Brandon and Isaac) pull away from me as they journeyed into manhood. It is a messy time (and I am not just talking about a teenager’s room!). It doesn’t always look like they are ready to be more grown up… they swing on a pendulum between immaturity and the call of masculinity, that is played out more often than not in a false bravado, unsure whether they really do have what it takes.

We have been intentional in leading our sons into manhood. We have made it our business to understand the importance of doing this well, so our boys don’t look to more undesirable versions (lesser versions) of manhood to aspire to. We have given our boys a vision of what an authentic man is, and how he acts. I love this. But as a mother, it required my role to change… to give them the space to step into “man territory”. Just as my eldest son faced challenges in his new season, so too did I. This was unchartered territory for me. It brought up many emotions that took me by surprise. To be completely honest, I felt an underlying fear that I was becoming redundant and obsolete. I wish someone had told me that it is completely normal to feel this way during your son’s transition out of boyhood. That it was ok to grieve an “ending of boyhood”. I floundered my way through this, until I came to realize that the way I handle this time, would either significantly underpin, or undermine, our future relationship. I needed to proceed with caution, and with wisdom I didn’t necessarily feel I possessed. I have made it a mission of mine to ensure that both Brandon and Isaac know that I celebrate this special season of their life, and that I believe in them.  I look for any and every opportunity to speak into their lives… to remind them that they absolutely do have what it takes to become amazing men e.g. by pointing out the ways I see them making choices in the way they live their lives. And I answer their question….every boy’s, young man’s, and yes, even every mature-age man’s question….”Do I have what it takes?”

So, let me encourage you. Should you find yourself floundering… caught in the emotion of a mother’s heart grieving… feeling that your value and role in your son’s life is not nearly as needed as it had been…. take heart… YOU ARE STILL VERY MUCH NEEDED! He needs you to speak life into him. He needs to hear a woman say how proud she is of him, and how strong he is becoming… especially when you get him to open that tight lid on the olives! J… and that woman needs to be you. You as a woman, a wife, and a mother, are providing a blueprint for your son… through the way you act and live… from where he will draw from as he enters into relationships with the opposite sex. He still needs your guidance and counsel. He still desperately needs the gift of your compassionate and merciful heart….for you to be his soft place to fall. You are his constant whilst he is changing. You are forever his Mum. You are not, nor will you ever be, redundant or obsolete.

Your role may change, but your value continues to grow. There should be an award for mums who do this well. You are a hero! We at ‘Fathering Adventures’ are so proud of you, and we cheer you on. We are in this together.

With great admiration,

Melissa