I LOVE YOU, MOM – guest post by Leah Crook

flickr alan dow #2


Four words. I love you, Mom. I hold on to each one as all twenty-five years of him slip through the airport doors. My adventurous son. Capable and kind. How I love him.
Before heading home, I sit behind the wheel of my car, trying to see him at his destination – it’s impossible, it’s unknown, it’s not a place I understand. I hope for rain, turn the key and take the road ahead of me.
I choose grace. I choose faith.
It’s true what they say, you’ll wonder where the time went. It was just yesterday when…
And time turns around until he’s twelve, ten, eight, six, four…
I trace his footprint back to when it fit in the palm of my hand. In the middle of October, a storm rages – pouring down. The streets flood with anticipation, he takes cover beneath my heart for just a few more hours.
Early morning opens up with quiet moments – giving way to fierce anxiety. The strain of giving birth begins. Truly unprepared. Indescribable. With each excruciating pain of labor, my heart pounds to the beat of a completely new day – the day my son is born.
He brings me out of shallow places. In the very last hour, I name him Michael, and a million I love you’s are on the way.
The wheels on the highway turn with my thoughts…
I watch from white sand as he braves the waves at three… and delights over snow-cone flavors at six. Peppermint candy passes his lips as he carries a fish home from the lake in a bucket.
I let go of his hand as he enters a classroom for the first time… I feel my head press against the door, and I hear him cry on the other side. I see my hand where the blue paint is chipping… I hold on, and I let go.
I’ll do that countless times.
Motherhood is sweet – even when it’s terrifying.
Seasons pass and bring a brother to cherish, friends to meet, ties to tie, girls to love, and cars to drive. There are dreams to chase and planes to catch…
Motherhood is a whole lot of holding on… and letting go.
A few drops fall from the hot summer sky. I press play on a favorite song – I feel my shoulders drop, let go of my breath and take in the lyrics.


Let your heart sweetheart, be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done, you can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone
Never be alone
Lady Antebellum – Compass

My mood shifts, from heavy to light. Because some words do that – they take you from one place to another.
I love you, Mom.
At twelve, ten, eight, six, four…
This morning, while the sun waits to rise, I drive. Through the known and the unknown. Through fear, anxiety, happiness, joy, freedom, failure, and victory.
I move back, I move forward, I move over.
I hold on… and I let go.
I imagine all the mothers in the world. New mothers, scared mothers, old mothers, brave mothers. Navigating roads – with kids in their cars, kids in their arms, kids in their hearts. Loving children, big and small.
Some of us are still learning when to hold on, and when to let go.
It’s an incredible journey – I’m honored to take.
Let go of fear, hold on to faith.



Leah Crook has graciously contributed to this space twice before. You can read her last post HERE . Please join me in thanking Leah for sharing her tender heart with us today.

Visit Leah at leahcrook.com

 photo credit

11 replies on “I LOVE YOU, MOM – guest post by Leah Crook”

  1. Thank you, Leah. Your words transport me. What a gift to be able to glimpse your heart, to be reminded of the ways our journeys must include releasing and holding and savoring.

    1. Leanne, I’m so grateful you were here to take a ‘glimpse’ and for your beautiful comment – thank you!

  2. I can’t imagine the high pile of emotions gathered up from 18-20yrs of parenting. Memories, probably both good and bad, to carry into the next phase of life. Really nicely written, Leah. I enjoyed visiting your last post also.

    1. It’s a “high pile” for sure… and I admit, there are no perfect days here. I have a mix of memories to carry with me – that’s true. Thanks for visiting, Liz.

  3. Oh I remember that first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday. I think I cried all the way home from drop off till I returned to pick up. Kindergarten was second runner up to watching high school graduation. It goes so fast!

  4. Thank you, Leah, for using your gift with words as skillfully as a surgeon. You took me back, too, and I wept, remembering the pain of that first ‘grown-up’ leaving of a son, and the flashbacks that accompanied it. You describe so well the state of continuous surrender that has eternal applications, and reward. Again, thank you!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: