To the mother at my door whose son was missing

At 12.03am I heard a knocking at my door .

My heart stopped!

Who would be knocking at our door this late at night ?

And why?

I’d let the teen son in earlier from his Halloween party. My adult son was watching dvds. My daughter was in bed and bear was fast asleep.

My eldest daughter would have phoned if there was a problem so that narrowed it down to my two adult sons that don’t live at home…

It could only be them.

I rushed up out of bed and ran downstairs. On the way down I popped my head into the boy’s room and asked them to come down with me. You never know it could have been anyone …

Afterall, we live on a busy main road and it was midnight.

With my heart in my throat and a sinking feeling in my stomach I called out to ask who it was.

A teenage voice replied he was the teen boy’s friend. Why would this child be at my door so late ? Before I could answer I heard women’s voices and as I opened the door I was greeted by a look I knew all to well.

She was middle aged but tonight she aged another 15 years. She was tired, her eyes betrayed the courage she tried to force as she bit back tears. Her body moving mechanically as her mind rushed about thinking of scenarios wondering where her child was ? How to find him? Would she look like a bad parent? Were we judging her? Was he hurt?

Smoking her next cigarette she explained her 14 year old boy knew my son . They had all been seen at youth but her son had not returned home from 9.30pm.

My stomach sank.

It was 3 hours later.

This boy could be anywhere.

Everyone would be asleep.

And I watched as the ingenious network of teen communication began. This one knows that one who says the other one who is connected to that girl who was with the boy. Before long they began to trace this boys movements and began contacting their networks to find him.

My eldest jumped in the car and the 3 boys searched at the Halloween party and back streets , whilst my daughter made coffee for the moms.

In the crisp cool air, barefoot and dressed in pajamas, myself and another mom became a newly formed tribe and lent our strength to a tired , heartbroken, worried mother.

We joined her search and flagged down police vans . We contacted neighbourhood watch and we silently prayed.

We prayed that this young boy who thought he was grown up didn’t come to any harm because as moms we know the dangers in a world he is not ready to be a man in yet.

As the police pulled up, the boy contacted his mom to please fetch him from a friend.

His story is much the same as most. Inconsistent and full of loops.

I watched as the familiar feeling of relief flooded over her. Her worry replaced with joy that he was safe only to be fueled by anger for his thoughtlessness.

She assured us she had brought him up better….


I know she had. I know that he is well loved and cared for. I know that he will get grounded and he will do this again and again each time believing she hates him. She doesn’t want him to have fun. She doesn’t care…

You see, I’ve been this mom!

I have and still do love my children fiercely, I’ve protect them passionately, sacrificed my all for them. I care too much and worry unnecessarily. I panic over missed calls and spend many sleepless nights knowing I brought my children up better than this …

To this mom, I shared your worry tonight as much as I shared your joy.

But ….

more importantly I hope you know that as mothers we raise our children and guide them. We teach them manners and respect and good values. We make the right choices for them and then we need to step back a little and watch them gain their independence.

And it hurts. It yanks at every inch of your soul. You cry tears as you try guide a child who insists on learning the hard way or following the crowd or leaning away from the lessons you spent years teaching .

Love them fiercely through this. Accept them unconditionally, forgive them tenfold and continue to guide determinedly no matter the heartache.


Because you have laid a strong foundation of goodness in your child, they will one day remember your teachings.

Sleep well strong mother. I pray tonight your boy, full of anger and defiance, saw your love, devotion and pain.

You are not alone !

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