A Letter To My Son

Dear Son, loved and treasured One:

When you go to the movies,tonight, with this sweet sweet young girl, young woman even, remember these things.
Dwell on them, never forget.

It’s hard to wrap a lifetime of learning into a very short letter. But I shall try.

And I’ll stammer and struggle and try to bleed my love for you as a man, in days now, my son, on this white page.

And what I want for you in all your relationships, but most especially with women.

Be gentle, be strong.

Be both.

Be a rock, a strong place to lean on. With big ears and an enormous heart. With room to grow and room to love.

Your Dad wooed me from the very beginning with his strength and gentleness, his compassion, his caring.

I never told you, and you wouldn’t care much before now, but early on, very early on, as we sat in a restaurant in New York with friends, he cared in the smallest of ways for me and about me. My memory fades like early morning fog, but I remember my hair in my plate or something similar and he loving pulled it out. He is gentle and attentive that way. He still married me.

Be attentive to the small.

You have watched your father cherish and care for your sister.

Care. Every time.

Do not follow the crowds, the throngs of people following the culture and all its siren song ways. Just rest in who God created you to be and be yourself. Comfortably you.

You, my son, are witty and funny. Enjoy that, but don’t be a peacock, calling attention to yourself. Use your gifts gently.

And you are creative, oh so creative. This is a gift to use for God and His glory.

Look to Him and His beautiful plan. Look in His eyes and ask and seek. Ask, be bold, ask. Then listen.

And listen well, my son.

Your Daddy does that so well now. Watch him listen and bend an ear to me.

And be selfless not selfish. In all you do.

Argue, not. Demand to be right, never. Be a peace-maker. Discuss with a gentle spirit. There is no need or time to fight. A gentle tone will take you far, strong one. Stand firm, yes. Find your balance with your words. Stand on what is right, noble, honest, pure, worthy of praise, and lovely.

You don’t have far to look, my son. Your oldest brother is tender and gentle and strong with his girl.

Follow these men, be yourself, be a gentleman, you were raised in the South, the premium on this is huge. Its our tradition. Carry it on.

Think of your grandfathers. They loved you and love you. And all their ways. Carry on traditions of kindness and gentleness and strength.

And look ’em in the eyes. Always. Everyone. Don’t look away, or look astray or wander off, not in their presence. Be fully present. Your beautiful blue eyes have always been so big, so unimaginatively handsome, these windows to your very soul.

Be right where you are, in the beautiful moment and savor it all. Remember the details as they unfurl.
Your father is my memory. He remembers often for us both. He has seen and he has remembered the details of a life, our life.

Pay close attention, such close attention, to the details, that are your life.

Listen to music, enjoy art, walk on the path outside our house that leads to the shore, often, daily, savor that salty place. Share your love for where we live. It’s glorious, its gift. It’s the ocean and the river, it’s God-beauty all around.

And get into those words God wrote for you, for us. And linger there, you man, you son, you child of God.

Your pecan pies and all your masterpieces, offer them in love.

And know that you were always loved by us, by Him.

Enjoy the movie. And be a gentle-man. Be respectful, so full of respect for others, for women, for all people, always. Shower others with a spirit of respect. And dignity.

Hold your shoulders back, your head up, wear your seatbelt every time.

Loving you this day and always, your very verbose,


P.S. I wrote you once before. Please remember those words too, of love to you. I wrote them in the summer months. These words from down deep in my soul.

17 thoughts on “A Letter To My Son

  1. Beautiful words. So thankful that there are other sons out there being raised by honorable men and with godly examples. On behalf of all mothers-of-daughters, thank you.

    1. Thank you Tresta for your encouragement. I am holding tight to it today. Failed, flawed here. But loving and hoping God’s highest and best for these boys/men of ours. Its no small deed launching them into the world.

  2. Only from a mothers heart could those words be written. A son is a blessing. I remember the best compliment I ever received after my son was married to his college sweetheart, she said to me, “I wanted him to marry me because of how he spoke about his mom”… surprised me greatly because I wasn’t always fair or kind. But I did expect him to treat his sister and myself with respect and courtesy. I loved your comment about not being a peacock, calling attention to yourself, haven’t we all seen or been with ‘young men’ who toot their horn so they get the attention? Good words mom, I know he will treasure them.

    1. I love that you shared this with me. There may be no greater gift than this. I know you even a little better after you tell this tender tale. Praying he will treasure them and that grace will cover all my many shortcomings and failings. There have been more than a few. A tankerload,

  3. Very beautifully written. My son is 3 years old but I feel like printing your letter and holding on to it to share with my son in the future, obviously a lot of this is specific to your son, but I kind of feel like it applies to mine too. 🙂 Thank you for the post!

    1. Ahhh, that you would want to print it. Humbled by that. Print away. My words are wobbly weak and frail and fail to say it all. But we mom’s have tough work to do and cannot do it alone. We need each other. Thanks for you words. I need you in this journey, we all need one another. Bless your weekend wanderings.

  4. just lovely, elizabeth. i wrote a letter to my son, too, recently. haven’t put it on the blog yet, still editing.
    so glad i jumped over to read this beauty, though.
    you are a mother all the way to the deepest places of your heart.

    1. There is something about letters as a vehicle and expression of love. Wish we wrote them more often to each other. Look forward in longing to reading yours to your child. This is challenging important work we do as mothers. Love to you, Kelli.

  5. I am sitting in class crying as I just read this.. Oh my goodness. Oh so sweet. We do love him dearly. And daddy does love you oh so gently. I am proud to call you my mom and to call him my brother. He needs this. Love you lots and lots

  6. Elizabeth, your beautiful mama heart, pouring out on the page — what a gift. I see here the loving, tender guidance and inspiration that you provide daily to your readers. What a blessed boy. I’m with Tresta — as a mama of daughters, I am so thankful for boys being raised with this kind of intention, love, wisdom and guidance. Spencer’s words, too — how precious.

  7. Mom, sorry I’m so late with reading this. Thank you so much for this letter. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read and I’m so blessed to have a mother that cares for me. I know I’m difficult at times, actually allot of the time, but I’m trying to be the young man that you raised me to be. Thank you for being a wonderful mother and teacher.


  8. Lovely. Oh that every mother would write such a letter to her son. As a mom of two girls, how I prayed for the men who dated my daughters. Very few met what you wrote. One won the heart of my youngest, and he is a gift. My other is dating a “southern gentleman” and we have yet to meet him as they are both on the other side of the country. Beautiful letter and I know the words were heard and kept close to heart. Thank you, DAF

    1. Robin, thanks for being here and leaving a sweet comment. It means the world to me. i am grateful that you want to read along. And that you would go to my blog in the wee hours…. I just cherish it. Love to you always my friend, elizabeth

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