Poems & Essays

23 Jun

Two Words

General/Column 6 Responses

Two words: “Just landed!”

This is the most recent text I’ve received from my twenty-one year old son who is in Europe with friends. Every mother knows the joy that comes with seeing such a text appear on their phone when their college-age child is traveling. Those two words can provide such comfort in knowing your child has arrived at his destination safely.

Or how about “thank you” as you wait to find out if your son received his most recent care package? Those two words let you know he’s likely enjoying the treats you sent and that you can dispose of the tracking slip. “Thank you” is also the text my son sends his grandparents who mail him a bit of spending money each month while he is away at college. These two simple words let them know he appreciates their support.

One of my favorite two word combinations has to be “miss you” which can cause me to beam for nearly a day when they arrive from my son. It’s not so much that I find joy in my son missing me, but that he took time to type those particular two words when guys are so often discouraged from showing their vulnerability.

Here’s another combo I like seeing in text: “really good,” particularly as a response to my question about how his day has gone. It’s not much of a response, but it tells me he is doing well and that I have some good news to look forward to when we finally have the chance to talk.

Texts like “watch this” and “read this” are sent when my son is excited about a recent lecture he’s heard or when he has come across a poem that he just has to share. These two word texts delight me as they give me insight into what my adult child finds interesting, uplifting, or entertaining.

How about “can’t wait” as a response to my question about whether he is looking forward to coming home for a visit? I savor those two words for the entire week before he arrives. Or even two words like “looks awesome” as a response to my sharing a picture with him of something I’ve cooked that I think he would like. A “good idea” text can validate a suggestion I’ve made and allow me to hang on to a remnant of my role as motherly advisor.

If you had asked me three years ago before my son went to college if I would have enjoyed two word texts as much as I do now, I would have rolled my eyes and scoffed. I would have thought that mothers are entitled to far more than simple two-word texts. But something in me has changed.

I appreciate now that as a college student, a volunteer, a part-time employee, a friend, a musician, a fraternity member, and a son, this person I raised is busy and challenged and taking in all that life has to offer. I know that two words afford me a glimpse into those new roles he has taken on. They provide me with an insight into his adult life and those two words, well, they serve as the thread that binds us. Two words can tell me he has taken the time from his schedule to maintain our bond despite his adult status and all that he has to juggle.

What’s my all-time favorite two-word text? It has to be “love you.” I could see those two words a million times over and never tire of them appearing on my phone. Who doesn’t like those two words?

You might think from all this talk about texting that my son and I don’t often talk. You would be right. We don’t get to chat every day. I don’t get to ask him “how was your day?” as he climbs the stairs to his bedroom after school. When I do get to talk to him for more than an hour at a time, our conversations are a potpourri of updates, shared concerns about the world, musings on music, history, art and travel, and reflections on relationships, finances, health and wellness. I have learned over time the difference between these two words: quality and quantity. The quality of our conversations has improved as my son matures and experiences more of the world. The quantity may not be there, but the quality of our conversations makes up for it.

And my two words to those of you who might wince at the incredible brevity of these texts. “It’s enough.” Two words can be enough to reassure us, to enlighten us, and to keep us connected. Advice about those two word texts? Savor them. Save them. Love them.


Lesha Dalton is a logophile, mother, wife, assistant principal, seeker of new definitions, and devoted old-fashioned letter writer. While she is an avid traveler, Lesha still works in the same school district she was born and educated in as a child in San Antonio, Texas. Lesha is the proud parent of one MIT student, a community college freshman, and a high school senior. When she isn’t in school, she can be found reading, spending time with family and friends, decorating, boating, and other healthy forms of shenanigans.

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  1. Linda H.

    June 23, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I am so taken in by your thoughts and the simplicity of your message. This shows true understanding of your son who lives in a generation of connectedness but not wordiness. You are a Mom who embraces the wonderful man your child has become! Thanks for helping me understand and appreciate my kids too.

  2. Marie

    June 23, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse in how words can mean so much from our adult children. “Two words” can mean so much!

  3. Kelli Kitchens

    June 23, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    What a wonderful message! Thank you, Lesha, for the positive perspective. As always, your words are positive, uplifting, and inspiring. ?

  4. Valerie Hauser

    June 25, 2017 at 3:39 am

    This is such a refreshing piece. It’s nice to read something that looks at the relationship between a parent and children entering adulthood. Sometimes it’s just sweet to have a quick read remind you of the simple things in life.

  5. Hilda Gomez

    June 25, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Beautiful expression to which I can merely add “Praise God” when they text their latest experience while serving on the Worship Team at Youth Camp! We miss them but release them to fulfill their calling using their God given gifts! Thanks for crying with me when they left and celebrating their growth thru the distance.

  6. Kimberly

    June 26, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I love the thoughts you have shared here; communicating and connecting through these two-word messages get me through the day with my two adult children as well. Looking forward to the next article!


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