We sat in the waiting room after her consultation for wisdom teeth surgery. As a mother of 6, it was a typical afternoon in my life, I had so much to do. I had 3 kids to help with homework, dinner to prepare, soccer pickups and only an hour or so to do it all. “Okay, I really need to go, you can finish up here,” I said. “Please just stay here with me,” she whispered. So I did.
She is 18. My oldest. She is mature, loving, kind, smart, hard-working, compassionate, independent, strong, and everything I had prayed she would be as I raised her. But she is only 18. Although she so very capable and is all these things and more, I’m learning that she still needs a mom.
Two days later, I am in the same waiting room while she is sedated, enduring a very routine surgery. Still…she is still my baby of 18 years and I worry about her as they take her in. I’m not only worried about her at this moment but for her future. Despite how great she really is turning out, I see she is desperately lacking in so many areas. Areas that if she doesn’t get control of now, they could have long-term consequences in her life. She could very easily become a financial mess if she doesn’t learn some self-control. What if she marries someone who will someday hurt her? She has to not be so naive and trusting of others, and a million other faults only a mother would know. However, no matter what happens to her, what poor decisions she makes, or trouble she may someday get herself into, as long as there is breath in my lungs, she will always have a secure place to fall.
I’m 44 years old and I still have moments when I just want my mom and nobody else will do.
It’s days like this that I consider deeply the needs of the young people that surround me.
You teenage girls. Somewhere between a woman and a child, I know you are growing up, I know you are becoming independent and strong. And your mothers want you to. But on those days when you are feeling restless and just want to get out on your own and are tempted to say or do something that will push her away, please, don’t forget that you will always want your mom.
You will want her there when you are considering who to marry, she knows you best. You will want her love, experience, and advice.
You will want her there when you do get married. You will want her to help you choose a photographer and a caterer. You will want her to hold your hand on that day and tell you it’s all going to be okay as your eyes are filling up with tears because you are feeling the weight of, but not fully understanding a decision that will affect the rest of your life.
You will want her there when you have your own babies and you understand for the first time how deep her love for you really is.
You will want her there when your husband loses his job and you have nowhere to go.
You will want her shoulder to cry on when you feel like you are messing up parenting, your marriage, or your job at every turn.
You will want her there as you stumble through the heartache of poor decisions you’ve made and you will want her there to help celebrate the triumphs.
You will miss her deeply when she is gone. And you will want her back.
Girls, nobody will ever love you like your mom does. That’s how God designed it. The things you say to hurt to your mother now, she will easily forgive. However, let me encourage you to spend these teen years building that relationship you are going to need so greatly in the future instead of tearing it down. Invest in this relationship. Your small investment now will turn a future profit later in your life that you could never have imagined.
And I promise you will still want her there when you are finally wearing your “big girl panties” sitting in the dental office about to have your wisdom teeth pulled. Nothing can replace a mom. Who else could laugh at you while you are still drugged from having your wisdom teeth pulled and crying about the fact that you can’t have lunch with Tim Tebow? Or a puppy? Only your mom.
See…she totally still needs me.
By Tanya Pirtle
Tanya Pirtle has been a daughter of the King of Kings for 25 years, married to her favorite man for 22 years, and mother to her six favorite children (four by birth and two by adoption) for what seems like an eternity. She lives in Utah, loves the word of God, His people, and the mountains.