I wrote most of this on Mother’s Day four years ago while I was on a run. Today I sit and write next to my teenager as he rests next to me his face pressed into a pillow, the antibiotics for strep throat next to us. His little white patch of hair, his birthmark, peeks out and I’m reminded of the day I first met him. And now I know him. His long legs sprawl out over me. This man-child, my son. He tries harder than any person I’ve ever met. He’s sensitive and gifted. He is respectful and honest. He hates being left out…but is usually the third wheel. He is the most faithful person I’ve ever met. He hates missing church. He’s strong, but he doubts that. He wilts from criticism and shaming, he blooms from affirmation and loyalty. He is not perfect, and is the first person to tell you that. I worry about depression with him. A lot. His smile when he’s truly happy makes me beam and breaks my heart all at the same time. 

I’m not alone in these thoughts. I echo the thoughts of so many others who have loved so completely that it has turned their soul inside out. 


I wrote this…

For You. 

For You… I threw up behind a Chinese restaurant as your dad helplessly rubbed my back, because I couldn’t keep anything down while I was keeping you safe. 

For You…my ankles swelled, my heart burn would only subside from ice cream, and I’d lay on my side after drinking orange juice to count your movements. 

For You…I felt my body torn apart, and watched through hazy eyes as your Dad held you, and named you because I was too weak to hold you. 

I had never been more emptied. Or full. Or blessed. 

For You…I waited at another doctor appointment, to be told once again there was nothing they could do. I would never grow a child in my womb. 

For You…I cried at every Mother’s Day card, every child’s ornament, and at every baptism of a baby that reminded me I was broken. 

For You…I took the classes, I cleaned the house, we waited…and got the call. You would be ours. My whole life led up to this. 

I have never been more scared. Or brave. Or blessed. 

For You…My body would leak, and I would cry because things were cracked and you were crying and wouldn’t sleep- and I didn’t have a shirt that did not smell like spit up.  

For You…I would sit in the doctor’s office, my legs shaking as I had to admit that I could still hear your screams in my head, as I hated myself and thought dark thoughts. Because for the first time in my life I was scared of myself. 

For You…I had to carry you out of the grocery store, cart full and left behind as you screamed, “But I NEED a balloon!” thinking I’m just so glad I was wearing a bra. 


I have never been more exhausted. Or ashamed. Or blessed. 

For You…I had to deal with everything she took when you were in her womb, every side effect and hold you and ask God to let me be your Mom forever, and for being jealous that she got to grow you. 

For You…I watched as she holds you and loves you, and I thank her again for letting me love you. And we both cry because we love the same person so much and I feel guilty for getting to keep you. 

For You…I will never ever be able to thank her enough. And as we work and bond, I can’t remember the day you weren’t mine. 

I have never been more emotional. Or exhausted. Or blessed. 

For You…I walk away from him, even though everyone says I am making a mistake…but his choices, will hurt both of us. You are all I see. I need to protect you.

For You…I let you go. Because I know I can’t give you what they can. Even though I love you more than the world, but my world is too dark for you, and they will love you.  

For You…I don’t graduate from college. I give up a salary and benefits for you to poop on me. 

I have never been more afraid. Or grieved. Or blessed. 

For You…I stand in a home full of meth, feces on the floor, as you cling to me scared, and your Mother screams “How dare you take my baby.” I am away from my own babies, as your Mom takes you for granted. 

For You…you scream “You’ll never be my REAL Mom!” And you’re right, I won’t. But my heart still stings.

For You…I fall in love again, because while no one will ever replace your Dad…you deserve to see a happy ending. 


I have never been more helpless. Or hated. Or blessed. 

For You…I cry, curled up with your blanket against my nose and I wish it still smelled like you. I would do anything for even five minutes with you in heaven. 

For You…Holidays hurt. And my heart aches. And I think about how long your hair might be, and if you’d have woke me up with your brothers and sister. 

For You… I wonder if it will always hurt, or if you’ll ever know how much I love you and am so blessed to be your Mom. 

I have never been more sad. Or heartsick. Or blessed. 

For You…I spent your entire life building and growing and loving you. 

For You…you were the first thought when I got sick, and the only one I worried about. 

For You…I am so sorry you are spending Mother’s Day without me, because being your Mother is the best thing I spent my life on earth doing. 

I have never been more proud. Or missed. Or blessed. 

Happy Mother’s Day to All of the Mothers in the trenches, the Moms who are missing their own Mothers, and to my amazing Mom, my Mother-in-Law, our Grandmothers, and all my sisters…Missy, Erin, Susan, and Jodi. And all of the people who are trying to make it through this day.  

I am surrounded by beautiful amazing, strong women. This is for you. -K