Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Dear Daughter,

You’re on the cusp of adulthood. I see you maturing every day, moving ever closer to that inevitable moment when your wings break forth into flight. Before that happens, I need to say a few things to you.

First, I don’t tell you often enough how proud I am of you. Not your artistic ability or your academic or other achievements, but of you.

The person you are, your integrity, your character, your true inner self. I like to think I know you and understand you better than anyone else, and I am pleased to the core of my being by the person I know. You worry about being successful in your endeavors and making something of yourself, but let me be the first to tell you that you are already something. Some day another will come along and know and love you as a spouse, and I will no longer be the one who knows and loves you best. I think I’ll be happy about that, but until then I am delighted to hold that title.

I  also look up you. You’re an awful lot like me, but an upgraded version. I wish I had your outspokenness, your edge. I see those things in you and even when it gets you into trouble, I admire that in you.

I know it makes you uncomfortable to hear it, and I doubt that you believe it, but you’re beautiful. Not in a Vogue magazine way, but in an ethereal, earthy way, which makes you far more real and approachable than the traditional stunner. And what really brings it home is the fact that you have absolutely no clue how lovely you are. You never parade around as a pinnacle of physical appearance, rather, you carry yourself with humble aplomb, with your delicate, willowy physique which is nimble and nearly perfect.

But your heart, and your spirit trump all the rest. You have a way of seeing people as they really are, and intuitively knowing how to connect with them. You notice anyone left out or behind and include them, even if it’s to your own detriment. You know how to listen to and hear people in a way that validates and supports them. You empathize and show compassion to anyone who is hurting, and hold space for people, so they never feel isolated or judged in your presence.

I can’t forget your humor. You’re funny. Sometimes in a clever, savvy way, sometimes in a quirky, awkward way, but you always make me laugh, and those laughs are some of the sweetest moments in my days.

Don’t get me wrong, darling girl, I haven’t the slightest notion to hold you back or keep you for myself. You have too much to offer for me to hog it all for my own self. The world needs you, sweet daughter. And while I cannot wait to send you off, it’s a bittersweet time. I have enjoyed every moment of being your mom, and I am certain that will continue in this new season. I even love the moments that you upset and angered me, because without those you would simply be too perfect, and nobody likes a goodie two shoes.

So fly, dear one, you’re ready, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I’ll be right here watching you go with pride and pain, comingled into a teary-eyed mess. 

With all the love this heart can hold,

Your mom

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on https://benswritingrunningmom.wordpress.com/. She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.

Dear Teachers, Thank You For Believing in Your Students

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

When I was in sixth grade my English teacher, Mr. McMain, left a note on one of my completed assignments. “You have a gift for writing.” I honestly don’t remember how it felt to read those words. Maybe I felt a rush of pride, or maybe I just shoved the paper into my folder and went back to passing notes or whispering with friends. It was a well-received compliment from a favorite teacher, but it meant little more at the time. Here I am, though—twenty-ish years later—and I can honestly say I think about that comment often. As fate would have...

Keep Reading

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading