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“Mom, it’s time for me to leave”



Obvious Magazine - published on 02/27/18

A daughter realizes it's time to grow up, so she writes her mother a letter.

Maybe it will take you some time to understand why I’m doing this. Maybe you’ll cry countless nights when you get up to find an empty nest. Maybe you’ll call me on the phone with a hurt voice, drenched in nostalgia, but Mom, I have to go.

I need to learn how to separate clothes by colors when doing the laundry. I need to discover that the dishes will still be in the sink the next day if I don’t do anything about it; that the smell of a clean bathtub is good, especially if I was the one who cleaned it.

I need to learn to cook anything besides mac and cheese. I’m counting on the internet to help me with that. I surely need to learn that my salary is supposed to last 30 days, and that dancing, eating pizza, and drinking beer are not the most basic needs.

I need to feel lonely. I want to have the opportunity to tell others “my mom always says that …” and feel proud of all the advice you have given me (and that I might not have valued as I should).


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I need to learn how to identify bad friendships (something you have always done for me). I need to be strong and refrain from yelling back at my boss, because you taught me that a good professional doesn’t lose control that easily.

I must create my own Saturday afternoon rituals (like those we shared when we lived together, baking cakes and dancing in the kitchen). I need to learn to get out of bed on Sundays, cook lunch, cook dinner (cook for the week, indeed!) and not just read a book while I wait for you to do everything for me.

I need to go see that amazing movie on my own, not having anyone to cry shyly with me. I need to learn how to miss that hug that would give me the strength I needed on a bad day

Don’t think it’s easy for me. I know not being able to go home to find your smile, and telling you every detail of my day (and noticing some boredom on your face) is going to hurt.

I know nostalgia will hit me even when I have two children. Even when I am 80 years old. Even if I wrote the best book in history.

I need to go, Mom, but I will always take you with me.

This article by Samanta Selzler was originally published by Obvious Magazine, and reproduced in the Portuguese Edition of Aleteia. It has been translated and adapted from Portuguese for English-speaking readers.

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