My son is almost 14. I have loved him with everything in me since he was about six weeks old.  It didn’t come right at the beginning for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him. But I loved him loved him when his father took his big sister away for a week. That’s when I fell head over heels, all that one on one time, all that extra snuggling. He became mine that week, and I have pretty much crazy loved him ever since.

But 14 is a tricky age. He sort of has a girlfriend that he doesn’t know that I know about. And now something has changed.

He and I are finished. He’s already gone. At 14, he’s already done being mine. I am having to say goodbye to my son who is still living in my home. He tells me next to nothing. I have no idea what’s on his mind, what’s in his heart. Someone else gets those peeks in instead of me.

I cried while saying this to my closest friends a couple days ago, surprising all of us that I was even going processing any of this, let alone so soon. One sweet friend said, “But won’t he come back around again? Isn’t that what sons do?”

I don’t know. This is my first time. I’m guessing there’s no guarantee.

But even if he does “come back around,” it won’t be the same as what we used to have. And, the coming back part implies a leaving in the first place. We’re in that leaving space right now.

I know that this is the part of the essay where I do what David does in some of the Psalms. Where I start talking myself into thinking and feeling something that I don’t exactly feel but then start to feel. I’m supposed to say that God knows I’m hurting, which is true. And I’m supposed to console myself with the reminder that Jesus knows what’s on my son’s heart even if I don’t, which is also true.

But today, that’s not where I’m at. I’m in the leaving space. I see him every day and I don’t know him all that well anymore and I miss him. My son is here but he’s not. He’s mine but he’s more his own. He’s still here but he’s pretty much gone.

No one ever told me that the goodbye and letting go would last for a few years before they even really leave. And I just miss him.

c. Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2012

Elisabeth is mom to two teenagers. She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing.  She is the author of At the Corner of Broken & Love: Where God Meets Us in the Everyday; One Girl, Third World: One Woman’s Journey into Social Justice; He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment; In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul.  All these books can be purchased on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.

Visit her website at www.elisabethcorcoran.com and her blog at http://elisabethcorcoran.blogspot.com/.

You can follow her on Twitter at ekcorcoran or friend her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Elisabeth-Klein-Corcoran/1301703500.

Watch Elisabeth and her friends spread hope through Africa with Samaritan’s Purse at http://www.vimeo.com/7919582.

Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer's Guild (www.redbudwritersguild.com).

Publication date: June 8, 2012