An Open Letter To My (Very Messy) Teenage Son

Sign, please do not disturb hooked on a doorknob of a teenage son's room.
Suphatthra China / Shutterstock

My dearest boy,

You’re going to be 15 soon, and I understand that you probably have a lot of questions about life. You can ask me anything, and I promise to always answer truthfully. I promise that you will always have my heart. I promise that I will always be there for you.

Sometimes I think I underestimate you, my brave child. I thought when I went into your room this afternoon to pick up a little trash, that this one Target bag would be enough to gather all your empty water bottles.

Sunshine Joe

I was deeply mistaken.

Your ability to consume water, and then save the bottles, defies any expectations I could possibly have for even the most fervent hoarder. I often wonder if you’re intending to build a raft and sail down the Colorado River to another family to taste their bottled water.

I am also always impressed by your ability to put things next to things instead of in those things.

You see, I have purchased all these things so that you can easily find the items you need at a moment’s notice  —  such as, in the early morning when you’re rushing off to school. How many times have you demanded a particular comic book T-shirt? Or couldn’t find a matching sock? Too many to count, I assure you.

Sunshine Jo

Yet here we find stacks of clothes not where they should be. Oh, my dearest one. This is why some animals eat their young. Though I’m assuming you’re mostly bottled water, and would provide no sustenance for me.

Sunshine Jo

I’m confused as well. I distinctly remember having a rule in my house about not drinking sticky and sugary drinks in our bedrooms. You know, because of ants and such? Yes, there is that rule. But perhaps you were saving these to reuse at a later date. For what, I cannot fathom. Do you pour the bottled water into other devices? I am at a loss.

We should probably spend a weekend getting rid of some of your childhood items. Yes, I am having a hard time believing my “baby” has a hairy chest. But you have long outgrown this playschool artist pedestal and the tiny guitar stored behind it.

Sunshine Jo

Thank you, though, for keeping the little anime drawing I made for you. I am touched.

You are the apple of my eye. I love you. Even if you end up being the death of me, I would consider it an honor. I love being your mama.

But at some point, I am going to replace your goddamn mattress with all these empty water bottles. Also, STOP USING THE NICE TOWELS.

With love,