Dear Child,

I’ve told you about love before, but in the midst of a summer’s night, I realized something. And on instinct, I reached for my Samsung [laptop] and allowed my hands to do that thing they do – glide over the keyboard and be the storyteller that life has steered me to be.

It just so happens that on the day I penned this letter to you, something extraordinary happened. All I know is how very grateful I am to have not missed that moment. All I know is that a mother’s faint whisper was heard a great distance away.

The reminder seems to come like the ocean tide…it comes in waves and when needed most. Letting faith be bigger than fear can sometimes be a challenge, but I know no other way to live than by the faith that has been my quiet strength.

I know it feels as though you are the only one whose parents are not together; you are, after all, predominantly surrounded by peers with parents that are still married. I assure you, though, you are not alone. Truth be told, many marriages are currently sitting on the rocks – they exist on a divorce-delay. And it is the children in those households that will grow up and in adulthood, cope with their parents’ divorce.

I’ve been around many such adults, who were in their 20s when their parents called it quits. Though their childhood didn’t split them between parents on birthdays and holidays, the divorce on delay sent them spiraling through every one of those memories and questioning whether their parents were ever really happy. Some battle the feeling that their whole life had been a lie.

“Experts” have their opinions on when the best time to divorce is, but honestly, there is no universal one time that is better than any other. It really depends on the family’s individual circumstances. I don’t judge those who go on the divorce-delay; perhaps, some of these couples maintain the hope that somewhere along the way, they’ll find their stride.

I do not judge. And, you should ignore others that may judge you. If this past spring has taught me anything, it’s that we all have our challenges and I refuse to be one of those mothers that allows you to use your challenges as a crutch for the, “I cannots” in life. You can. I repeat, YOU CAN make it over the hurdles. When you need a reminder, remember that something extraordinary from our endless summer.

Though it wasn’t in the cards for me, I hope for you it is, and on the stars, I wish for you to have a marriage that will last. But my pleas do not stop short – it isn’t only a lasting marriage but a happy one that leads you to fatherhood, that I pray you will have when the time is right. If giving all four of my limbs could assure the aforementioned, I’d live without them so you would never have to know my kind of parental failure.

Despite knowing the choice made was the best one, I was unable to give the child I brought into this world a home with both parents in it, and for this, I’ve done a decent job of beating myself up. But, in the midst of a summer’s night, I realized something…

Often adolescents feel as though their parents can’t and don’t understand them because it was seemingly centuries ago when their parents were young; they think because their parents are old and married, they can’t possibly understand the current world of love or dating. Though the former is a point we can debate (for the record, I have a sound argument for why I think I’m not old), the latter is non-debatable – I am not married.

You’re at that age where kids start to notice each other. When I was in elementary school, the first known “couple” among my peers was in sixth grade. From what I hear, “dating” is now beginning in fifth grade. Please don’t rush to grow up; please be a kid for as long as you can.

Life will teach you tough lessons – several of these will be related to love. It’s how it goes. Though I may not have been able to give you a home with your mom and dad in it, I can be the example to you of how to navigate the dating world and of how to survive the heartache of it. No one person is immune; we’ve all been on both sides of love – the heartbreaker and the casualty.

You’ve been my priority and it’s how it always will be, but as you’ve been getting older, I’ve let you see that your mom is human, too. That is, not everything is sugar-coated (like the Greek cookies I love baking for you). But, everything is kept age-appropriate.

It all started with a catcall – that was the day you realized not everyone sees your mom as just a mom. When the car full of catcalling guys pulled up, you were scared because you didn’t quite understand why these men were saying these things to your mother. Never did I think I’d have to have a conversation about catcalling with my son at such an early age, but since there are guys who’d do that when a woman is walking with her child, we had the conversation. And now you know that catcalling isn’t actually a nice thing and that you should never disrespect a woman in such a way.

In single motherhood, I’ve parented with the belief of Ralph Waldo Emerson – that, “Men are what their mothers made them.” With that, I’m doing my damnedest to raise you to not be a man that will treat a woman in the way that I’ve known. But I neither have nor will I ever want the violins. The overload of compassion that I carry is real and cost me something, but it is also what makes me the mother that I am. And for this, I will never apologize.

I have to believe that only the good will happen; I have to let my faith be bigger than my fear.

People will come and go – some of those losses will hurt for an eternity, but one thing is for certain, I’m yours…when walls were crumbling, you and I would dance to that Jason Mraz song. You let me lead, but then, again, you were an infant in my arms, so you sort of had to. Now a fine young man stands before me and when a wall crumbled, that incredible boy took my hand to lead me through a dance.

I want you to have it all. And in the lyrics to that other Mraz song, “May you know the meaning of the word happiness … May you have the confidence to always do your best…Here’s to the lives you’re gonna change. Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you.”

With all my love,


- Suzanna Parpos can be reached through her website: