By: Shannon Ralph
My Dearest Lucas,
This weekend I became the proud parent of a teenager. You—the first person in the world to ever call me mommy—just turned 13. It was a momentous occasion, of course, celebrated with nine boys, tons of junk food, and a loud and rowdy game of Dungeons and Dragons. I stayed out of your way, but my heart was full of joy. Nothing brings me more happiness than seeing you surrounded by your friends, joking and laughing and having a good time. I love seeing you in your element.
You must know by now that I think you are a pretty amazing person. I certainly tell you this often enough. You’ve developed a wicked sense of humor in recent years that I simply adore. And you are so incredibly smart, though your grades don’t always reflect it. (Come on, you know I have to hound you about your grades. It’s my job.) We talk these days. Really talk. About politics and history and current events. You possess a singular curiosity about the world that renders me completely speechless sometimes. Where did you come from? How did I get so lucky as to be one of only two people plucked from the universe to be your parents? To be the lucky souls who get to watch you grow and develop from a chubby little blonde cherub to the free-thinking, witty, kind boy who stands before us now? A unique person like no one else who ever walked this Earth. What could I have possibly done to deserve that honor?
As much as I adore you, I realize the coming years may prove challenging for us. I know that you may not always want to talk to me like you do now. I will annoy you. I may embarrass you. Let’s be honest, you will get really, REALLY angry at me. There will be moments when you might even hate me—though I hope and pray those moments are short-lived. Believe it or not, I was a teen once myself, and I get it. I do. Becoming an adult is no easy task. It’s hard work. Probably one of the hardest things you will ever do. These coming years will test us both, but I am confident we will come out the other side just fine.
In the meantime, I have some things I want to say to you. There are crucial things I want you to understand as you enter this new stage of life. You may be taller than me—you may even be stronger than me—but I am still your mother and I still have some relevant things to teach you. Contrary to the messages careening around at light speed inside your teenage brain, you do not know everything. Nor do I, but I do know a few things to be absolutely true.
Your teen years will be an amazing time in your life and you will learn so much about yourself and about the world. Enjoy these years to the fullest. Don’t grow up too fast. You are extraordinary and I am certain the world will one day know it. In the meantime, take comfort in the fact that I will always, ALWAYS be there cheering you on.
All My Love,
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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