I love you. I have loved you since I first found out you were there. I loved you when I barfed every morning before breakfast. I loved you when you kept me up all night. I loved you when you took those first tentative steps away, the school bus, the sleepovers.
All through the school years I watched as you made friends and joined clubs and made the tennis team. I cheered when you made good choices and your friends, sometimes, did not. I applauded the choices you made for college and career. I look at you and I see a confident, successful young woman.
So I’ve got to ask; what the hell are you thinking?
I don’t like him Jen. I want him far away and out of your life. Get a dog, get a goldfish, get a new haircut. But get rid of him.
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Does that make me a bad mom? Maybe. Maybe I should just support your decisions and smile when I want to pull the chair out from under him when he comes for dinner. When he comes. When some last minute conflict—that’s always more important than you—doesn’t come up. But if it’s a choice between losing you and embracing him, I’ll hug the little bastard till he pops.
Should I just nod along when you say your friends are drifting away not because of him but because they’re jealous that you’re happy? That they’re judgmental of him because he hasn’t been to college or learned a trade? Or maybe it’s because he treats you like crap and he’s had 10 jobs in the three years you’ve known him.
I’ve heard the disappointment in your voice when a group of you was headed off for the weekend and he never showed at the airport. And never called. I worried with you when the texts went unanswered and you cut your trip short and raced back home, worried that something terrible had happened, only to find him sitting on the couch. And when you defended him, saying he never really wanted to go in the first place, I held my tongue.
But babe, enough is enough.
Kick him out, change the lock. Put his stuff on the porch, delete his phone number. He doesn’t deserve a speech or a talk or a big emotional moment. Will it hurt? Of course it will. Will you survive and grow stronger? Of course you will. Is there someone else better out there? Of course there is. You are smart and successful, young and pretty. There are a lot of someone elses out there. And they’re looking for someone like you.
I know you’re a woman grown and able to make your own decisions. I vow that if he stays around I will not say a word against him or turn him away. I will keep the door open and the light on. I will always be available to hold your hand, or hand you Kleenex or just give you a hug. But you’re a smart woman. Start acting like one.
There aren’t too many permanent decisions in our lives, other than tattoos and babies, and even tattoos can be removed. And I’m giving you permission to make a new decision. In fact, I’d rather you get a new tattoo than stay with this guy.
So there you have it. Don’t just dismiss my letter as me being “Mom” and not understanding. I’ve been in your shoes. And you know I’m right, just as your friends and the rest of your family know he’s not the man for you. Please remember I write with love, and from only wanting the best for you. He is not the one. And as your grandfather used to say (and he said it to me, many times), “I know you don’t want my advice, but I’m giving it anyway.” That’s what we moms get to do with our kids, no matter how old they are.