What love really means

I would never call my 9-year-old son a “mama’s boy” in front of him, for fear he would be immediately embarrassed and determined never to do anything ever again that would make him appear to be such. But the truth is, I love that he sort of is, for lack of a better term, a mama’s boy. One of the best things about that is that he’s not afraid to talk to me about what is on his mind – something I pray will continue throughout his lifetime.

I wanted to scrapbook this relationship (carefully avoiding the term “mama’s boy” in the journaling!) while he’s young, so that if he does eventually stop telling me how he feels about these important little moments of his life, I can at least remember that there was a time when he felt free to open up to me. (Then I can take comfort in blaming it on the fact that he’s just too old or too cool to talk with his mom; it can’t be anything personal, right?!)

I Will Love You For You

I hope I never get into a habit of making bedtime such a rushed thing that we miss out on these opportunities. It’s easy to do some days, especially when we’ve had practice for sports and the kids’ showers take so long that we’re way past what we shoot for as a “normal” bedtime. I have to consciously remind myself to stop, relax and take the couple of extra minutes to be there for each of my kids as the day winds down. It’s truly one of my most treasured blessings as a parent to tuck the kiddos in at night.

I also included the words to the JJ Heller song, “What Love Really Means,” because there’s a part of my journaling that triggered a connection to that song. If you haven’t heard it, listen to it here. It’s worth the time!


Gabe, you and I have a relationship that is very important and very precious to me. You are my only son, my first-born child and one of the brightest lights of my life. I value the fact that you talk to me about all kinds of things, from sports you play or watch, to what you want to do when you get old enough to work, to the things kids at school say or do that hurt you. We often talk at night, when you’ve just crawled into bed and I’ve come in to say goodnight. I try not to rush those moments, because they’re some of the best of my day. It’s a chance for the two of us to talk about what’s on your mind. Sometimes it’s nothing more than that you’re looking forward to your next basketball game or that you got an A on a math test. But sometimes it’s more, and I get a peek into your mind and heart and soul, something that doesn’t happen as often as I would like during the rest of our busy lives together, but something I treasure among the best rewards of being your mom.

I love you, Gabe. I know you feel you’re “too old” for kisses and hugs from your mom (even in the privacy of our home), and I respect that, even though I feel I am missing an opportunity to show you I love you when I pass up a chance to hug you. But I want you to always remember that there is nothing you could possibly do – nothing! – that would ever make me not love you. Nothing. (Allow me to say that once again, for good measure: There is nothing you could do that would ever make me not love you!) As you continue to grow up, you’ll probably do things you’re not proud of doing, and you might be ashamed to tell your dad and me about them. But I hope you do anyway. Because if you can gather up that courage to tell us even your deepest secrets or regrets, you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to see that we love you for you, not because of what you have done but because of who you are. And when you add “courageous” and “honest” to the long list of all of the other descriptions of who we know you to be, how could we not still love you?

(That doesn’t mean we won’t ground you, though!)

Lots of love,


This song pretty much sums up what I mean when I say your dad and I will  always love you for you. (And always remember that God will always love you, too!) Hunt it down and listen to it!

What Love Really Means
Artist: JJ Heller

He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He’s the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, “Dear God won’t you please…
Could you send someone here who will love me?”

Who will love me for me?
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
‘Cause nobody has shown me
What love, what love really means
What love really means

Her office is shrinking a little each day
She’s the woman whose husband has run away
She’ll go to the gym after working today
Maybe if she was thinner then he would’ve stayed
And she says…

Who will love me for me?
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
‘Cause nobody has shown me
What love, what love really means
What love really means

He’s waiting to die as he sits all alone
He’s a man in a cell who regrets what he’s done
He utters a cry from the depths of his soul,
“Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home.”

Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside
And it said, “I know you’ve murdered
And I know you’ve lied
And I have watched you suffer all of your life
And now that you’ll listen, I’ll tell you that I…”

I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will love you for you

(My apologies to JJ Heller for the technical copyright infringement of posting the lyrics online. I hope you don’t mind! I love your song and wanted to share it!)


Published by Corie Farnsley

I am a freelance designer, writer and photographer with a passion for telling stories, especially those that are close to my heart. I love to document those stories in a tangible way — by making albums that will leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren.

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