To my Son, Who Loves Me

April 17, 2019


Today it’s been 11 years (note the date)

I know you love me, even when you say you don’t. I know you love me, even when you don’t say it. How could you not love me?? I love you more than anyone in the world and have given you my whole heart. I know you love me because I see evidence of your love for me every day. I don’t need constant expression of how and why and how much you love me because I can see it clearly.

We had only been a family for a few months, but had already been through a lot together. One night you were playing a game and asked me if you could play for another half hour before you went to bed. I told you, “Sure, no problem!” and you stopped playing and stared at me. I guess you had expected me to say no. Because you leaned over and patted me on the head and said, very sincerely, “You’re a good mom.”  Those words (and that head pat) meant more to me than 1,000 I love you‘s.

Every time you have vacuumed the couch or cleaned the bathroom or washed the dog or did the laundry I have felt your love. Every time a neighbor comes up to me and tells me how kind you were to carry their groceries or open the door for them I feel your love. When you serve you are speaking my love language; there is nothing that expresses love to me as powerfully as that.

Or when you started brushing my hair. I have tried to create rituals around bedtime because you always had such a hard time sleeping. We would read or talk or I would rub your hands and feet or scratch your head. Then one day I handed you a brush and asked you to brush my hair while we had our nighttime talk. And you didn’t miss a beat. You got to work and took it very seriously. “Does it feel better when I brush all the way to the ends? Or when I use a lighter touch?” You wanted to get it right because you knew how relaxing it is to have a bedtime ritual. And because you love me.

Lately, God has taken me on the craziest ride through love and heartbreak. I’ve mostly kept you out of it–I know it makes you scared to imagine someone else loving me that way. So when I’ve been elated I’ve tried to keep it cool around you. And when I’ve been hurt I’ve done my best to stay happy and faithful and not bring my pain into our home. But I know you saw it. And felt it. And when, after having been absolutely decimated by heartbreak, I decided to put myself back out there and open my heart to love again, I first asked your permission. I really didn’t want to do it if you couldn’t handle it because I knew it had been hard on you. But you looked me in the eye and said, “Mom, I just want you to be happy.” That was one of the most loving things I have ever been told. Someday, maybe I will find that type of happiness and we can share its benefits together.

And last night when my car broke down and I had to wait in the cold for an hour to get it towed to my mechanic which then meant I had to walk a mile home in heels, up a hill, with allergy snot running down my face and menstrual cramps searing through my body…you literally tucked me into bed, placing my favorite blanket over me to calm my shivering. And when you kissed me on the forehead I could feel your man-whiskers scratching my skin as I heard you say, “I love you, Mom.”

I have always heard you.

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6 Responses to “To my Son, Who Loves Me”

  1. Becky said

    Wow. What an amazing Man you have raised- this is no accident- you are a gift to each other! ❤️❤️❤️


  2. Susan Dratel said

    I so enjoy reading your stories about life with
    Rahul. You obviously have brought up a wonderful, caring and loving son. You are blessed to have each other. Keep it going!
    Best regards,


  3. Jose Rivera said

    HI Renee
    People often think that me as parent I have it all together. I keep things cool on the outside while I deal with pain on the inside. I hear everything my kids say to me, good and bad. I try not to take it personal and it’s hard sometimes words can cut deep. It’s true what you said that we don’t “bring pain into our home” but you’re right they see the pain in us. I can’t hide it from them, I can relate to that. I also started opening up to my daughter about my feelings and hurt comments we say to one another. and she has surprise me with her openness about how she feels about things I’ve said to her. She knows me better than I know myself so it seems. She’s at an age now that she’s gone through some hurt, pain, and rejection herself. When she starts a conversation with “why are boys such jerks” I need to shut my mouth and open my ears and just hold her as she vomits it out. I could give her advice but all she wants is daddy to lay next to her and comfort her. She will direct some of that anger at me. it’s ok she’ll get through it. I Know she loves me it’s the pain talking not her. As for dating I know that its difficult for me when I put myself out there. I’m setting myself up for pain. So why do I keep doing it? I gamble in love, I believe in love, I know God has someone for me. I want to win the jackpot. “I’ve gotta be in it to win it” as the saying goes. I can relate to your pain, you know I’m here for you. I just keep doing what i’m doing and if it comes great if not I have so much more to focus on. My joy comes from helping and serving others. I really enjoy reading your blogs please keep posting.



    • José, thank you for sharing all of this. Your relationship with your children is beyond amazing. I hope you will share more about it with your friends so we can learn from you!


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