He’s Leaving Home … Bye, Bye. (Sung in my very best Beatles voice)

My son officially left the nest. He moved to Brooklyn, specifically Crown Heights, with three of his best friends – to tend bar while following his dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian. AND I CAN’T HANDLE ALL OF THE FEELS.

So I wrote him this letter, instead.

*you can click on anything in purple or blue font and it will take you to that story, post, photo, or video.*


Dear Justin,

I could write a, “I can’t believe you’re so grown” post, but I’ve already done that.

I could make a movie montage filled with embarrassing photos, celebrating milestones, but I’ve already done that too. TWICE.

I could write a million stories from your childhood like the time you wrote a report on King Arthur, or that time you almost died in the quicksand. But I’ve already done that too.

I could tell you how I will NEVER forget:

Being pregnant with you.
Holding you in my arms for the very first time.
Bringing you home from the hospital on my 1st Mother’s Day.
Your 1st birthday.
Dark Time-Out.
Blues Clues, Bionicals, and “Double-abba-terris”
Your terrible fears of alligators and elevators.
Climbing into my bed, scared in the middle of the night, and stealing all of the covers.
The look on your face on your 5th birthday.
When you fell in love with all things Star Wars.
Your penchant for Chilean sea bass.
And your crazy obsession with swords.
Killing off your imaginary nemesis Jackrafire.
Bringing you to work with me.
And always making me laugh at myself.
When you turned 13 years old and I made this video montage.
The sound of your laughter.
When you learned to shovel snow.
When we watched the no garbage neighbor leave in the middle of the night.
The never-ending power-outage that inspired you and Uncle Adam to write this song.
And how you danced with Poppa-Uh on Hanukkah.
From Jerry on Seinfeld, to Chris Farley on SNL, to Bill Burr – and all of our favorite comics inbetween.
When you dressed up as Elton John for Halloween. And George Bush. And a Real Housewife. And Jesus. And that drunk teacher. And McGreggor.
Our horrible vacations in The Dominican Republic. And Mexico.
That time you carved SWAG into your haircut. And that time you dyed your hair platinum.
How much you changed and grew in 2011.
When you starred in your high school plays: Leader Of The Pack and Alice In Wonderland.
How you went to BOTH: the Manalapan Junior Prom AND the Freehold Junior Prom.
When you turned 16 years old and I made this movie montage.
And when you became a Hipster.
The first time you drank a 300.00 bottle of wine.
Watching the movies Forest Gump & Almost Famous together – A MILLION TIMES – and quoting every line, annoying everyone around us.
How thrilled I was when I surprised you with your very FIRST NEW CAR.
And when you got your very first first tattoo.
When you turned 18 years old and I gave you 100 singles to go to the strip club.
That gut-wrenching feeling I endured watching your MMA FIGHT.
When you turned 21 years old.
Or how you cried when The Eagles won the Super-Bowl.

I could tell how incredibly proud I am of you, and how truly happy I am for you, and I’m really excited to see what the future hold for you. But, you already KNOW THAT.

I could tell you how I thought leaving you at daycare for the very first time was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Until I watched you get on the bus for the very first day of school. Until I watched you graduate middle school. Until I watched you drive away for the first time. Until I watched you graduate high school. Until I watched you move into the college dorm. Until I watched you graduate from Rutgers University, and then, we partied our faces off!  Until, today.

Every one of those moments filled me with such pride and yet such a sadness I truly cannot describe. Luckily, I found another mother/author who managed to find the PERFECT words …

1. My heart is so full of love for you that it aches like a physical pain and it’s that almost unbearable fullness that brings tears to my eyes.

2. I will miss the way we were. Things will change between us now. We will always be mother and son but I have become an increasingly less important person to you, as it should be.

3. I will miss you and almost everything about you, your sense of humor, the way you mess up the kitchen, even your closed bedroom door. But it’s not just you I’ll miss, it’s the light and life you brought into this home and your friends who also became dear to me over the years.

4. I will worry about you because I desperately don’t want you to ever feel lost or alone but I am certain that you will experience those “lost and alone” days. Everyone has them. Thinking about the times that you will not be okay and the fact that I can’t make you okay makes me terribly sad.

5. I am not worried that you will not succeed. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I have no doubt that you will succeed and that success will lead you further from me. Again, it is as it should be, but sad, nonetheless.

6. That moment when you walked away, I went one way and you went the other. You’re walking into a bright new chapter of your life where the possibilities are almost endless. I am walking away from a piece of my heart and the poignancy of that moment is not lost on me.

I know that we will soon adjust and I will be able to see this more clearly as a beginning for both of us and not as an end and. As you drive away, I will look back and hope that I’ve done most things right, or right enough, that you make wise choices and that good fortune comes your way.

* Written by: Helene Wingens


***For 3,000+ more photos that I WAS going to use in this post just click HERE for pictures under the name JCH, or click HERE for pictures under the name Whosteen, instead!***

I will miss you, TERRIBLY.
I will miss the way you smell.
Even your stinky feet.
I will miss listening to you talk to yourself.
Or recording your podcasts.
I will miss hearing you playing the guitar and video games.
I will miss cooking for you.
I will miss cleaning up after you.
And I will miss doing your laundry.
I will miss your handsome face.
I will miss your sense of humor.
I will miss watching TV and movies with you.
Or just lounging around together.
I will miss the sound of your footsteps.
Or knowing your “home” safe.
I will miss your stories.
I will miss your Cool Banana coffee mug.
I will miss watching you grow and change.
And I will miss the way you brighten up my world.

I love you, my son.
My only child.
You are the light of my life!
You are my favorite person in the whole universe!
And I promise I will ALWAYS have Lima Beans when you come home to visit.

Go fly, my little birdie …

I believe YOU are destined for greatness, and I believe this is why you’ve been inspired to follow your dream, even if you’re an atheist!






About Meleah

Mother. Writer. Television Junkie. Pajama Jean Enthusiast.
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