Singing to Baby Boy: Be a Simple Man

My son graduated from high school today, and tomorrow he moves to another state. Though he will be surrounded by other family members and I know this is the next normal step for a young adult…my mom heart is breaking.

Like any parent, I want to keep him safe. I want to protect him from the ugliness of the world, the cruelty of mean people and the heartbreak of some experiences. I want to keep my little baby safe, like when he first entered my world.

I remember the little baby boy who loved to snuggle with his green turtle pillow. Oh how he loved that pillow, and oh how I miss that little baby.


As he grew, my little blond-headed ball of energy developed a smile that could melt my heart, and any anyone else’s for that matter. His happiness was infectious.

I could have the worse day at work, but come home and play with him for hours. He (and his sister) became my light, my purpose and my reason. Those kids kept me going through difficult times. They made me want to do better, be more. I never wanted to be the cause of sadness or disappointment. So I survived, adapted and continued, even when I really didn’t want to.

We didn’t have the best life. Nor did we have the worst. However, we always had each other. Of course, there were times I sucked as a mom. I didn’t say the right things at times. I was too lenient when I should have been strict. I was too busy or tired to notice they needed me at moments. Their dad and I couldn’t make it work. And…I basically abandoned them for three years of their lives while on deployments. I can’t change any of these facts and I worry.

Did I reassure them enough? Did I discipline them enough to be strong, but kind adults? Do they know I love them? Were their future relationships harmed by the failure of their parents’? And though they now understand I had to deploy, when they were little, all they knew was that mom left. That is hard on kids, and I did it not once, not twice, but three times.

All these things swirl around in my head as the hours tick down. After saying goodbye to his friends, I will forced with saying goodbye. At dawn he will be on a flight and his next chapter begins. Yes, the logical part of me knows that I am still his mom. I can still call him. I will still see him. But the logical part of me also knows, this changes everything.

He will be out on his own to an extent to learn a skill, find a job and discover life. He will inevitably experience the pain of a crappy friend’s action, of a young woman breaking his heart and of the disappointment of failure. We all did growing up and he will be no different. Yet, I want to make sure I have told him all I can before he leaves. I want to prepare him for it all to soften the blows, if that’s possible.

I want scream: don’t be afraid to love, but be choosy; take risks, but be careful; seek adventure, but wisely; be the good friend you want to have; never do anything to anyone you wouldn’t want done to you; live with passion and embrace each and every moment you can: don’t waste precious time on anger, hate or revenge; pray for those who plot against you but avoid them; eat your veggies and proteins; make time for family and friends; work hard at something you are proud of; chose honor over money… head swirls with it all in these final hours. However, I know I can’t bombard the poor young man with a checklist of life’s lessons as he boards the plane.

So all I can do is hope and pray I did enough and leave him with this song, my last bit of motherly advice for a young man running off to find himself in the world.

Mama told me when I was young
“Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it’ll help you some sunny day”

“Oh, take your time, don’t live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
You’ll find a woman and you’ll find love
And don’t forget, son, there is someone up above”

“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”

“Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”

“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”

Oh yes, I will

“Boy, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”

“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”

Baby, be a simple, really simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand


For the Daily Prompt ~ Sing.

15 thoughts on “Singing to Baby Boy: Be a Simple Man

  1. Yes, to be a simple man. Love that you ended with that. I come at this from the father perspective. I have two boys who are now 21 and 18, so I’ve gone through what you’re going through. But I have no sadness about it. I’m looking forward to the day when they are adults taking responsibility for their own lives. I’m more than happy to be a part of their lives, but I don’t want the responsibility of their lives anymore. That’s theirs now. Or should be. They are both struggling to different degrees with the transition to adulthood. Why I like the idea of being a “simple man” is that a lot of their difficulties come into play because of the additional complexities of modern life. It would be nice if they could recognize how much better simplicity would be.

    By the way, it’s okay to miss him and to cry at this as long as you recognize the goodness and rightness of what he’s doing. Which I think you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So agree with you. We have two girls, 29 and almost 27, the second of whom just graduated from college. We love them and had many good years together, not perfect, certainly, but good, but we are happy they’re on their own. That’s what we raised them to do and that’s what they’re supposed to be doing. Success for each of them is likely to be very different, but we’ll support them, pray for them, and enjoy the time we have together.


      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh I do. I know he has to go, and certainly wouldn’t want him to live with me forever and be a mama’s boy. I once dated a guy like that and that was one factor in the should-have-never-started relationship. So, I don’t wish that upon him. It will just take a minute to embrace this transition. It is harder with him than it was his sister, but only because he is the last kid. When she left, he was still here to feed my motherly needs. Now, they are both gone. So I am just more dramatic.

      I agree, life is additionally complex these days. It really did seem simpler in my generation. Go to college, get a job…. Now a college degree is no guarantees and the world is so competitive and ruthless. Just like you, I do want him (and my daughter) to find their way and become responsible for their own lives. I won’t always be around so they have to learn to make it on their own, like I did. I just want a moment of reflection…oh and a little more time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We’re at least lucky to live in a technological age where nobody’s ever really that far away. My son talked to me more after he moved out than when he was living right upstairs. Good luck to both of you! Send him this post if he doesn’t already have it. Your excellent advice will be valuable to him, I’m sure. And the love in your words will be his forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I just dropped him off and mommy tears were spilled. You bring up a good point. There were times when he sat in the same house with me and words were not shared. However, he would always hug me good night and nearly every day, he’d tell me he loved me. I will so miss that. But, there will be all kinds of way to stay in touch like you said. And, this will give me even more reason to visit my hometown. But before I can embrace this step, I think I might need to cry a bit over this part….thank you for your kind words.

      Liked by 3 people

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