What I Want My Son to Know

I don’t know if every mother who bears a son feels the way I do about mine: But when I look at him, I’m physically drawn to touch his face, ruffle his hair, pull him close. I also have a strong urge  to clean his glasses, wipe the chocolate smudge, check for deodorant, smother this lanky son.

Maybe it’s because he’s affectionate like his father or because some days he’s the only who asks how my day was and really wants to know.  Maybe it’s because he’s a lover, not a fighter. I just know my heart is connected to his in a special way. He grows taller with every sunset and I feel my grip loosening. He seeks independence. I give him bits and pieces. He comes back to reassure me. Oh, this boy.

He is smart and sensitive. He is compassionate and is shaped by mercy. He is quick-witted and a tad sarcastic. I have no idea where he gets that from.

The world is a boiling pot with mounting pressure.  I long to shield him from it. But he feels the heat anyway. This is the life we are called to. But I’m the first to admit that– living in the world, but not being a part of it– is tricky, hard business.

Son, ten years ago today, I was stuffing my face full of chicken chop chop -a dinner break- on the way to the hospital. You entered this world easily, quietly and I didn’t even mess up my makeup. Your gentle nature has been nothing but a blessing to this momma’s heart. Little did I know that ten years would pass in a blur and that every time you hear the word balls, you’d have a hilarious-albeit irreverent-comment. (We need to work on that).

On your 10th birthday, I want you to know:

You are enough: The world will demand more from you, constantly trying to convince you to change and give more, be more. But you are good enough just the way you are. You are created in His image and there is only One you must please in this life. It’s just beginning, this pressure to fit in to a certain mold. Resist it. You don’t have to be like everyone else, be like Him and everything else will lose it’s significance.

You can do it: You can be and do whatever you want in this life. Never give up or listen to the voice of doubt that says you can’t. Work hard and always try. We live in a world that offers more doubt than encouragement: don’t listen to those voices. Our greatest successes are built on the steps of our failures. If your dreams aren’t bigger than you, then they aren’t God-sized dreams.

You are not alone: As you get older, you want more freedom from your Dad and I. This is natural and the way God created us–one day you will lead your own family. We will journey along side you, but in our imperfection, we will disappoint you along the way. But God will never let you down and he will never leave you alone. If you’ve got Him, you have all you need in this life.

You are loved: I hope you feel the love seep deep in your bones, this crushing love we have for you. But it pales in comparison to the One who gave His life just for you. No matter what comes your way, the ups and downs, the joy and sorrows this life might bring, believe this one thing: you are deeply loved.

Happy birthday, Son.


  1. 1

    Eyvonne says

    Oh Kristen, my boy is nearing 13 and I share your feelings intensely. I’m not sure exactly how they start out as sweet smelling little bundles and grow into big stinky men. But they do, Lord willing. It is an amazing thing to behold as they stretch into their man skin and try to figure out what this world is all about. I think the ride gets wilder for several more years. I’m right there with ya.

    Thanks for this.

  2. 2


    I am literally in tears.
    I, too, have one of these lovely boys who are just SO good your heart breaks. Just moments ago, I was tucking him in and he said, “Mom, I hope you had a really good day today.” And he meant it.

    I love this post and I send HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES to you!

  3. 3


    It sounds as tho your 10 yr old boy and my youngest (8yo) are very much alike…..I will have to bookmark this one to remind me of these important messages for both my boys!

  4. 4


    My son just turned eight, and your words express everything I feel too. Thank you Kristen. And happy birthday to your (lucky-to-be-yours) son.

  5. 5


    My son just moved back home from his first year in college. I cried every.single.time he left this year. Buckets. The time flew in an instant. He has a call from God on his life that makes me proud but also makes me know letting go is essential. And so hard. Enjoy your busy days and God bless you!

  6. 6


    What a lovely post. My oldest son is 20 and my youngest just turned 10 in February. I know these feelings and this love for your son. He is blessed and so are you.

  7. 8

    Michelle says

    Oh my, this touched me deeply. I am a mom to 2 growing boys and in fact my youngest turns 6 today. Some days my prayers for them stretch on endlessly as I strive to raise them up right, yet feel so inadequate. Thank you for expressing the emotions so eloquently. Happy birthday wishes to your son!

  8. 9

    AmberK says

    Okay, Kristen…must I remind you I’m at work when I read your blog? Must I remind you how you always make me cry sitting here at my desk? WOW, sister. That was good, good, soul hugging good stuff. I so wish I could hug you. Does that make me weird? LOL I feel like I know you better than some of my best friends…it’s odd but I guess it is your honesty and openness and my admiration for you. I know it’s God…but it’s you who let Him work through you, too. It’s just SO GOOD!

    Happiest of birthdays to your precious son. :) Hug him for me, too. That’s just what your writing did. Made me wanna hug him and his momma. :)

  9. 10


    oh, i am so happy that you have this beautiful son and the realtionship with him. it was like reading about my own son, boy of my heart. and your advice for him? beautiful and full of grace. happy birthday to your boy!!

  10. 12

    Racheal says

    Beautiful!! It is hard to fathom how fast time goes by. I often sit and wonder where my baby has gone. He is growing up so fast. It is a scary world we live in today and I too try to shelter my boy from it, but not too much either. It is a hard balance to find sometimes, what to tell him and let him experience and then of course there are those things which are out of my control. I am trying to teach him in ways that he can understand about God and how we are in this world, but not of it, that we are to be different and not just go with the crowd. We have a strong mother son bond too. I hope it is always that way. He is my world (other than God is first of course, but my boy is a close second). He is my only child and I hate how the time just flies by as I try to pause and treasure each phase in this rush of a life we have. He will be 6 in September. Happy Birthday to your sweet growing boy!!! Beautiful post.

  11. 13

    Tracey says

    Well said!! I have that same sweet boy, only he’s 13 and I have cried reading your post!! Happy Birthday to your son:0)

  12. 14

    JL says

    Your description of your son could easily be a description of my nine year old boy. Thank you for sharing this post, and happy birthdy to your precious son.

  13. 16

    Donna says

    I’m such a sap – my son is only 3 years old yet reading your post to him had me crying. Beautiful. Happy birthday to your little man.

  14. 17

    Tiff says

    Been following your blog for awhile now, after I got your devotional “Don’t make me come up there!” Your words encourage me so much becausemy family is defintely…one of those famlies, too! :) Thank you for shring your special birthday message to your son! I have three little boys ages 7, 5 and 1; this posting made me laugh and cry and pray for my crazy amazing fellas today! Sons are such special blessings!

  15. 18

    Nina says

    I am lucky enough to now experience the journey of having a son! Our son was just born 3 days ago! He is so sweet and innocent and we are totally in love with him. I already get teary just thinking about how fast he will grow, but we will enjoy every minute with him!
    Thanks for your wonderful words of wisdom!

  16. 19


    Loved your words this evening! I am expecting my first son in ~10 weeks and your post spoke to my heart as I think of his future. I will bookmark this post as a way to remember my hopes and prayers for my son as he grows! Thank you!

  17. 21

    Misty says

    My son, the one I asked God to give to me for so many years, will be turning 2 on Sunday. I adore his big 9 year old sister and I’m so glad she’s my daughter, but there is something different about the relationship you have with your son. I didn’t know that raising a boy would be so different than raising a girl, but I am loving every single minute of it! Every single minute of chasing that boy down the aisles of the grocery store, every single minute of “HEY! No! No! Don’t poke the dog with a stick! Don’t put that in your mouth! Don’t pick that up!”…every single minute of snuggles and kisses and spontaneous hugs. I believe he’s going to be in the ministry just like his daddy, and every day I feel like God is reminding me that this little boy is His and he’s just on loan for a little while. So for now, I’m just going to soak up all of these moments and squeeze every second of joy out of them…and look forward to telling my son all of the things you told yours!

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