So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

You let go of my hand and walked slowly through the door.

You turned your chestnut head to look at me one more time, and then you blew me a kiss. My heart stopped. And then you disappeared into a crowd of 3-year olds and never looked back.

You still don’t.

You survived that first day of school and all the rest that came after. It was I who had a harder time knowing you would never be the same.

You thrive in this world filled with friends and books and activities. You soak in every morsel of learning and jump in at every opportunity to join in something new.

You are exactly where you are supposed to be in this moment.

It hasn’t always been easy. There have been many bumps along the way.

We have endured broken hearts because of a friend’s betrayal or the ramifications of a bad grade. You’ve learned that some people are not always kind, and sometimes that person may be an adult you trust. You’ve set goals and overachieved, and sometimes the outcome of a lot of hard work was not as you hoped.

But each and every day you wake with a smile, and with a quick hug, you let go of my hand and venture out into this world.

And as we’ve approached your 8th grade graduation, I watch as your spirit grows in lockstep with your shoe size. I am awestruck by your knowledge and how steadfast you are in your beliefs. I marvel at your compassion and kind heart.

I’ve seen glimpses of the woman you are becoming, and she is strong and beautiful and good.

I look at you with wonder as these years pass quickly by. Who showed you how to use your wings and taught you to fly so high?

Watching you growing up isn’t as I thought it would be. It doesn’t happen gradually, bit by bit. Instead, it occurs like rapid-fire in bursts. Oftentimes you walk out the door in the morning, and come home seemingly a different individual than the one I kissed goodbye earlier that day.

And as another chapter closes in your life, you make it hard for me to feel sad, because all I see is the tremendous potential resting at your feet. I know you will continue to reach for the stars.

As you move on to high school, I hope you will continue to challenge yourself and never be afraid of failure. Swing for the fences every time you come up to the plate, and know that when you falter, your family will be here, cheering you on no matter what.

Keep trying to find things that fuel your soul, not what others think is cool. You’ve done a great job at marching to the beat of your own drummer up to this point, and it’s one of your best qualities. Don’t sacrifice who you are, who you were meant to be, to obtain the attention of people who don’t appreciate your authentic self. 

Use the right measurements. Life is not measured in the amount of likes you get on Instagram, numbers on a scale, or even your GPA. And there isn’t a “thing” you can buy with the money you make that can fill a void in your soul. Always remember that life is about the impact you have on others, so work on building your brain and growing your heart, and the rest will fall into place.

Be gentle with hearts—a boy’s, your sisters’, your friends’, your parents’, and most especially, your own. Love of any kind is a beautiful and delicate experience, and remember to treat others as you would like to be treated, no matter the circumstance.

Know that the best is yet to come. High school and college (and sometimes years after that) is a time to experiment and discover who you want to be and where you want to fit in this world. Believe that you have the best that life has to offer sitting in front of you.

And please, please get some sleep. You are a joy, except for when you are exhausted. The next four years are going to be jam-packed, so make sure you carve out some time for some shut-eye, and I promise you we will all enjoy them a lot more.

Thanks for letting go of my hand, sweet child, and being patient as I stay to watch you walk slowly through those doors. 

I can’t wait to see what’s next for you. I couldn’t love you more.

You may also like:

A Letter to My Kindergarten Graduate

10 Graduation Gifts that will get you a real thank you

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

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

Dear Son, Don’t Ever Lose Your Helping Heart

In: Child, Kids
Young boy carrying two gallons of milk, color photo

When you carried two gallons of milk on our way out the door at Aldi, I smiled. You insisted to take them from my hands. You’re growing out of your shoes and shirts, and my prayer has always been that you’ll reach your full potential as a young boy growing into a young man.  You’ve always had a drive inside you that is seen big on the soccer field, and I pray you’ll always desire to work hard and serve strong wherever you are. RELATED: Let Us Raise Boys Who Have Respect Running Through Their Veins I pray you’ll work...

Keep Reading

9 is Changing Right Before My Eyes

In: Child, Tween
Girl sitting in car holding stuffed animal, color photo

“You are officially tall enough to ride without a booster seat,” our pediatrician tells my daughter after reviewing her measurements. It was her 9-year check-up, and she’d grown three inches in a year, landing at the 96th percentile for her age. She’d likely been tall enough for months, but I insisted we wait for her doctor’s confirmation, comforted by the imminent discussion on sitting safely sans booster. My girl gleefully melts into the car’s fabric and buckles her seatbelt, flashing a smile that showcases an assortment of adult and baby teeth. Reality hits me like an airbag in the face:...

Keep Reading

Goodbye To the Preschool Years

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother smiling with giggling preschool daughter, color photo

For me, personally, I feel as though this is the first gut-wrenching string I’m letting go of with my little girl.  Although when she started preschool I felt nervous and I missed her like mad, I knew I still had two weekdays with her as well as the weekend. It has been perfect—freedom and growth while at preschool—but still time for us.  School is on the horizon. The year of starting school has come quicker than I was prepared for. It has literally flashed before my eyes.  I have spent every day with my girls since they were born. Every...

Keep Reading

Don’t Ever Lose Your Sparkle, My Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Smiling little girl

I wish I could freeze this time, right where we are now. Right in this moment. Nothing is more bittersweet than seeing you grow.  People say time flies, and I didn’t really know how much it did fly until I had you. Until I held you in my arms for the very first time.  Since then, I have watched a little girl grow, right before my eyes. I watched her first steps. I heard her first words. I wiped her first tears. I held her hand the very first time. She grew. She keeps on growing. I see her smile...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Will I Know You Tomorrow?

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Smiling boy

When you were a newborn, I knew you as well as it’s possible to know another human being. I was your everything; you were mine. I knew what each cry, each smile, each grasp intended. I anticipated your spit-up, your hunger, your fatigue. You grew into infancy, and we remained nearly as intimate: your laughs, your budding motor skills, and your newfound interest in toys were my complete delight. I was there with my camera to document the first time you sat up and played with toys on your own. I knew every single food you had eaten and its...

Keep Reading

Down Syndrome Does Not Define Her

In: Child, Motherhood
Infant in hospital bed, smiling, color photo

Riley’s story starts April 23, 2019. We had opted to get the 3-month scan and NIPT test with our third pregnancy just for the extra ultrasound. The tech brought in the maternal fetal medicine doctor, and he pointed out that there was an increased nuchal translucency measurement and that it was common with different trisomies. He suggested we have the materNit21 test to see which specific trisomy we were at high risk for. We opted for it. I got the call a few days later that the baby was at high risk for trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down syndrome....

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime