A Letter to Moms From a Strong-Willed Child

Here’s the thing. I don’t go with the flow, even if it’s your flow. It’s not that I don’t trust you, not at all, mom. It’s that I want to know why this is happening. It’s not personal. It’s part of my makeup.

This causes your hair to fall out in the shower. Or maybe you pull it out. Do you pull it out, mom, or do you shed?

Never mind, let’s keep moving.

My refusal to conform and ask questions is a gift mom. In high school and college, my stubbornness will keep me from going with the crowd. I will make mistakes, plenty of them. But more times than not, I will choose the right decision over the easy one.

You see, all that processing and asking and pushing boundaries is my attempt to feel out the world, not disobey you. And as I process your rationale, I learn the importance of boundaries. I understand why they exist. I realize you’re not keeping me from something. You’re protecting me from something: destructive outcomes.

Later in life, as many around me make destructive decisions, I won’t, mostly because I’ve been there and done that. Right now, I’m crossing boundaries and paying the consequences. You remember the five stitches for splitting my ear open? You told me not to climb on the bookshelf. I didn’t listen.

Boom! E.R. Sedation. Stitches.

I remember reading this in a book. It’s called Originals, I think. In the book, the author says highlights the most successful entrepreneurs. As kids, he says, they are more likely to defy their parents, skip school and gamble.

Here’s what fascinating, though.

After studying the most successful entrepreneurs, researchers found they were far less likely to engage in hazardous activities like driving drunk, buying illegal drugs or stealing valuables as teenagers.

I’m not saying I will skip school as a teenager…or maybe I am.

I know life is hard right now, mom. But don’t question your impact or effectiveness as a parent. I’m a round peg in a square hole. But don’t give up. You’re an amazing mother. Keep pointing me to Jesus. Every day. Jesus will turn my stubborn, non-conforming personality into something good.

One day, when faced with a tough decision, I will choose what’s right over what’s easy. This decision might cost me friendships. It might cost me a job, maybe even my life. But my personality won’t allow me to choose any other way. I must swim upstream. And maybe someone decides to swim with me. In doing so, maybe this person avoids imminent danger downstream. In that moment, even if it’s only one person, that person will be glad you didn’t make me conform.

Mom, you’re amazing. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for never giving up. Thank you for enduring the hard days. Thank you for trusting Jesus more than a self-help book or an expert blog post.

I love you, mom.

Frank Powell
Frank Powell
Devoted follower of Christ, college/young adult minister, husband to , dad to Noah and Micah, avid blogger/writer, sports fan. You can follow him on twitter here and read more blogs here!

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