So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

The worn-out sock monkey with the Christmas hat went to bed with him every night.

It was a gift from his cousin/best friend, and he had affectionately named him Galerie.

Galerie was like part of the family.

He went on all road trips. He was snuggly tucked in his backpack at every cousin slumber party. Galerie joined him for his first week at overnight camp. He even traveled across the world with him, safely in his carry-on bag. 

Whenever there was someplace to go, there was no question Galerie would come too. 

Sometimes as parents we wonder how long these phases will last. We even start to get a little nervous wondering if they will ever end . . . Will he ever stop sucking his thumb? Will she still have to sleep with this lovie when she’s in college? How long will they insist on wearing this same old shirt?

But the moment my tween said the words, “Mom, I’m too old for that,” my heart froze for a minute. 

Deep down, you know these milestones are going to happen. But for some reason, they always seem to sneak up out of nowhere in the middle of mundane moments rushing by, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to fully prepare for them. 

RELATED: You’re Growing Too Quickly For My Heart To Handle

He was practicing magic tricks and I had offered to help him pack his bag for an overnight with his grandparents. I nonchalantly picked up the old monkey and said with a grin, “And of course you’ll want Galerie.” He looked at me with a surprised smile and said, “Mom, I’m too old for that!”

He is proud to be old enough for deodorant now. He longs for the day when he will have some facial hair. He checks his height every other day. He’s more helpful to his siblings and is showing more responsibility, along with more moods and opinions. 

I see the cocoon just beginning to shake and the young man inside longing to break out. 

There’s nothing that can stop this process. 

There aren’t any magic words that can pause this moment with my emerging magician who longs to transform. 

The transformation will happen . . . no matter how long he cradles his stuffed monkey. 

RELATED: I’m Watching My Little Boy Become a Young Man

No matter how long she sleeps with a pacifier. 

No matter how long he throws a fit every time he hears no in the grocery store.

No matter how long she insists on bringing her stuffed rabbit where ever she goes. 

No matter how long he hides behind your leg every time someone says hello.

No matter how long she begs you to carry her everywhere. 

No matter how long he asks to have his arm scratched as he falls asleep at night.

There will be a last night for the favorite bedtime story you’ve read three thousand times. There will be a last time you snuggle them in the rocking chair as they’re struggling to fall asleep. There will be a last time they run to your bed in the middle of the night, afraid of the nightmare or the storm.

RELATED: Mothers Grieve a Million Little Losses as Their Babies Grow Up

So I hope we handle them gently and enjoy them fully as they go through each fleeting stage. 

The moments are mundane and they quickly fly away as milestones come and go. But the transformations that happen and the memories left behind . . . they are magical. 

Stephanie Kramm

I'm a wife and homeschool mama of four adventurous boys and two miscarried babies I look forward to holding in Heaven. I enjoy music, art, and rare quiet moments in nature with a book and some chai. My Master’s is in counseling and I am passionate about advocating for at-risk women and children around the globe. I’m a contributing writer for the facebook pages Snips & Snails & Warrior Tales and this mere breath.

When Your Last Baby Goes to School

In: Child, Motherhood

In just a few short weeks, our daughter will start preschool.  On Monday and Wednesday mornings, she’ll sling her little backpack over her shoulders, pull on her tie-dye sneakers, and head out the door. If you ask her about it, she’ll get a big grin on her face and tell you how excited she is. But me? While I’m ready for her to go and fully confident she’ll thrive, my stomach has also been doing flip-flops at the thought. Because she’s our youngest. Our little. Our last. If you’ve been here before, you know: When your last baby goes to...

Keep Reading

New Mom, Don’t Be Afraid to Blink

In: Child
Newborn photo in white bedding, color photo

I can barely keep my eyes open and my entire body is shaking from the anesthesia. As they stitch me up from this unplanned C-section, someone brings him to me, wrapped tightly in a blanket with a small blue-and-pink striped hat covering his head. My baby, who I felt growing within me for the better part of this year. My son is here. Blink. He screams with excitement when he realizes he’s no longer holding onto anything. He’s actually doing it. His first independent steps. He can’t keep the huge grin off of his face as he toddles across the...

Keep Reading

Coming Home to Kindergarten

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little boy with green backpack holding man's hand

I’m standing outside a row of heavy, metal doors and tentatively press the bright red “call” button. “Good morning, can I help you?” a bright, cheerful woman’s voice asks. “Yes, I’m here for my registration appointment?” I ask in return, despite the fact that it’s a statement. I’ve chosen to speak it as a question as if I’m not quite sure. Is that indeed what I’m here for? Can that possibly be true? “Welcome! I’ll buzz you right in. You can meet me in the office.” I hear the buzzer sound, the clicks of the lock mechanism unwinding, and I...

Keep Reading

Mommy, Will You Play With Me?

In: Child, Motherhood, Toddler
Mother and daughter playing and smiling

Her little voice sounds through the rooms, “Can somebody come and play with me?” “Honey, just a few minutes, I’m trying to make dinner,” I tell her. “Can somebody play with me, PLEASE?” she calls more insistently. My heart breaks as I think of her believing she simply did not properly formulate the request. She must have been proud to remember the correct way to make a request of someone. Can I really deny her again? If I did, what lasting damage might I do? I hurry, mixing the ingredients and oiling the pan. I do a series of equations...

Keep Reading

He’ll Walk in a Boy and Come Out a Man

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little boy with green dinosaur backpack

It feels like the beginning of goodbye. Oh, sure, my son is still a little boy, but not for long. Not really. His little-boy status is about change. For his entire life, my son and I have spent more time together than apart. He’s eaten lunch with me every day at our well-loved kitchen island. Afternoons have always involved nap time stories and snuggles—at first in a weathered rocking chair and more recently in his big but still little boy bed. He’s always kept me company in the car while waiting for the bell to ring at his big sister’s...

Keep Reading

Today Is the Day Your Hand Is as Big as Mine

In: Child, Motherhood
Little boy with handprint on paper, smiling, color photo

One of the first things I did after having your slippery body brought close to mine for the first time was count your fingers and toes and marvel at every minute detail of your frame. I noticed how long those tiny fingers were and wondered if you may be a pianist one day. But it didn’t matter because you were mine and they were perfect. As I cradled you in my arms and nursed you, I gently held those delicate newborn fingers in my hands. Sometimes, I’d so carefully try to clip those tiny, sharp fingernails before you woke—holding my...

Keep Reading

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

You’re Graduating From Kindergarten and the First Part of Your Life

In: Child, Motherhood
Mother, father, and little boy in graduation gown, color photo

To my little graduate:  I’m so proud of you. I used to think graduation ceremonies at this age were just a cute, end-of-the-year celebration. Now I see how much they really represent. I watched you in amazement this year. I saw all of your hard work. Not just academically but socially and emotionally as well. You learned to make friends without me there. You learned how to make your place in the world. You have learned to deal with disappointment, stand up for yourself, and the awkwardness of not being friends with everyone. You dealt with teasing because of your...

Keep Reading

He’s Outgrowing My Lap But He’ll Never Outgrow My Heart

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

He’s five now—my baby, the third of my three children. I feel like I’ve taken the time to enjoy each stage, but no matter how much I try to savor, it still seems to go too fast. Like grains of sand slipping through my fingers—if I try to hold on too tightly, the years just seem to escape faster. We were sitting in church this morning. He had asked to sit in church with mom and dad instead of going to children’s Sunday school. And we let him. He’s gone from a squirmy toddler to a little boy who can...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.