Shop the fall collection ➔

I chuckle because growing up southern, I was taught that the front of the neck was the “sugar” and the back of the neck was the “salt”. As a little girl, hearing the words I’m gonna get your sugar or I’m gonna get your salt meant giggles and tickles on the front of my neck or the back and I too have played that game with my kids. However, I never would have guessed how very precious that “salt” would come to mean to me.

When my daughter and later my son were born, I spent hours holding them, staring into their tiny faces, kissing and lightly caressing their delicate cheek and tiny hands, planting thousands of kisses on their delicious round heads.

When they learned to sit on their own and toddle around the house bouncing from activity to toy in curious busyness, I found myself always seeing and being drawn to the back of their precious little head, drawn to their salt. It was such an inviting place to plant a kiss and give a quick loving pat or caress and they’ve received many. As my daughter has grown into a young woman, her beautiful red hair has grown past her neck to flow down her back and warm hugs have replaced those sugar and salt days.

However, it’s been very different with my son. Over the years, this area of my little boy’s neck, with its small tender valley that touches his thick wavy hair and points to his unruly boy swirl at the top of his head has become so precious and my heart has collected so many memories of the back of his head, that sweet salt spot, his salt.

It was that sweet salt spot that I watched as he proudly walked up to accept his kindergarten graduation diploma. It was that sweet salt spot I rubbed, patted and hugged when he came home crying from school after a bully had pushed his face onto the floor of the bus by the back of his neck.

It was that sweet salt spot that I watched as he was learning to ride a bike or as he often sat in the middle of the living room floor absorbed in creativity amid a myriad of colorful Legos or those countless times as he took off running to the jungle gym at the park.

It was that sweet salt spot on which I gently placed an ice pack and kisses to try to help give him some relief from the many headaches and pain that had begun to grow in that area and slow him down. And it was a picture of his salt that I looked at on the MRI scan as a neurosurgeon told me he had Chiari Malformation.

It was that sweet salt spot that I kissed, comforted and cried over as I sat beside him on his bed the day I told him that he had to have brain surgery and he had run to his room, dropped to his knees, shoulders trembling as he cried and begged God to help him make it through. And as that day approached, I found myself staring at my sweet boy’s salt, knowing that after surgery, after the surgeon removed a piece of his skull and his top vertebrae, it would be forever changed.

His sweet salt spot now bears a zig zag scar. It is an area that at times makes him feel marked and vulnerable but I see the mark of a warrior who fought and will continue to fight a victorious battle, a scar that has cultivated courage, kindness and faith in my son and in me. And although it has changed, that sweet salt spot is still a part of the most precious remarkable boy.

I know there are many more memories to be made. I know as he goes out the door for the first time with his license, or as he leaves for college, or as he stands at the alter joining his heart with another, my misty eyes will automatically drift with such love as I look at the back of my son’s head at the area of his neck, with its small tender valley that touches his thick wavy hair and points to a faint reminder of his unruly boy swirl and I will be forever thankful that I had the most precious honor, the dearest privilege of kissing, caressing, and cherishing that sweet salt spot.

Donna Mott

Donna Mott, also known as the blendermom, shares about walking in faith with her wonderful husband and three children in their blended family at She has written numerous articles and has been featured on sites such as, First Magazine for Women, Huffington Post,, South Africa’s All4Women,, and In February 2015, her youngest son at age 10 had brain surgery for Chiari Malformation. She is now passionate about spreading awareness of this incurable brain condition. At the end of the day, it's all about family, laughter and a whole lot of grace.

Our Friend Steve Is Back! Get Ready for the “Blue’s Clues” Live-Action Movie

In: Kids, Living
man in a trench coat and green tie looking out door

We just got a letter, we just got a letter! Except this time, it’s even better! ’90s kids rejoice, because one of our favorite classic Nickelodeon series, Blue’s Clues, is getting a live-action makeover. Not only that, but it will also feature all three of the show’s hosts, which means our beloved Steve Burns will be returning to the screen after all this time! You may remember, Steve popping back into our lives unexpectedly last year for the 25th anniversary of the show to explain why he had departed so suddenly. He hit us all in the feels when he...

Keep Reading

Dear School Bus Driver, My Whole World Is In Your Care

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing on school bus stairs, color photo

To the bus driver I do not know, You don’t understand how hard it is to let go of my child’s hand in the morning and hand him over to you. You don’t know how long it took me to make this decision . . . to let him ride the bus.  Some may say it’s brave or courageous to trust another with your child’s life. I sometimes think it can be daring but also really unwise.  RELATED: Every Time I Leave My Child With Autism in the Care of Someone Else, I Worry In today’s world, we must worry...

Keep Reading

Every Time I Blinked, They Grew—and It Was So Beautiful

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boys kissing mother black and white photo

I thought we were prepared, but we weren’t. Not even close. Not in the tiniest, least little bit. When we hugged our precious, oldest boy and left him to start college just a few hours away, we didn’t know what was coming. The waves of emotion, of loss, of pride, of accomplishment. They say not to blink because your kids will grow up. But despite how much we may not want to, it’s involuntary. We have to blink. They don’t talk about this part. No one tells you what to do when you open your eyes again. RELATED: I Blinked and...

Keep Reading

I Love it When You Smile at Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl in wheel chair with classmates, color photo

I gained a bit of insight today. We were walking past the checkout at the store this afternoon when we came upon a mom and her children, waiting in the checkout line.   RELATED: A Simple Invitation Means the World To a Special Needs Parent My daughter Chloe rolled by them in her wheelchair. I watched, as I often do, as the children noticed her. One girl about Chloe’s age smiled at her as we walked by. As soon as we had passed them, Chloe turned to me and said . . . “She’s the first person to smile at me!”  Let me say I...

Keep Reading

It’s Okay to Say No to the Promposal

In: Kids, Teen
Boy holding pink sign saying "Prom with me?"

Promposals are cute.  But, even for the sweetest questions, it’s okay if the answer is not yes. I have more boys than girls at my house so the whole meet the boy asking your girl out with a gun posts don’t sit well with me. Boys and girls have an equally hard time negotiating friendships and relationships in high school, and I care equally for both. A young man spent some time, told his friends, made a cute sign, and planned to ask my daughter to a dance. A friend of my daughters mentioned he might ask (and even made...

Keep Reading

I Wipe the Slides

In: Kids, Motherhood
boy on slide

I want you to have the most fun possible at your tiny playground stars program, so I wipe the slides. I don’t want you to have a meltdown if your clothes get wet while I’m gone, so I wipe the slides. I want to have three precious hours of only managing your little sister, so I wipe the slides. RELATED: I’d Rather Serve My Kids Than Have Them be “Self-Sufficient” I don’t want you to feel embarrassed by a big reaction to wet clothes when I’m not there to help you, so I wipe the slides. I want you to...

Keep Reading

One Day You’ll Outgrow Being My Little Boy—But Not Today

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and two sons back-to-school picture, color photo

One day you will come home after your first day of a new school year and not wish to share a single thing. Not today. Today, you got into the car and talked non-stop about every second of your day. I was delighted!  One day you will not have countless first-day forms for me to sign and return the next day. Not today. I signed my name at least four times. I was happy to grant permission for you to play sports, learn algebra, and do whatever else I gave my permission for.  One day you will not allow me...

Keep Reading

The Sports Mom Shows Up For Her Kids, No Matter What

In: Kids, Motherhood
Youth baseball game

We’re nearing the end of club baseball/softball season, and the burnout is real. The time away from home, burning through gas to get somewhere for two hours with half your house packed only to pack back up and turn around and drive to the next two-hour destination is insane. I don’t even like the sport right now. There . . . I said it. I’m so sick of softball fields and wind-blown dirt in my face. I’ve seen so many balls thrown in the last two months that my eyes hurt. But I still show up. I love to see...

Keep Reading

Having Babies and Toddlers Is Exhausting—but So, So Sweet

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four with baby and toddler on bed

I took the girls to one of our favorite coffee shops last week and all around me were parents of babies and toddlers. Their little ones ran about in the grassy area out back, toddling up and down the lawn, when it suddenly hit me with perfect clarity—the sun has nearly set on this season for me. It was a realization marked by internal tension, a mourning of the loss of one season contrasted by the joyful anticipation at the arrival of the next. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. Having five kids in...

Keep Reading

3 Common Phrases to Avoid Saying to Your Kids (and What To Say Instead)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with young boy on couch

Learning to love yourself is hard work. I did not grow up loving myself. Instead, I always felt inadequate, and I felt the need to change myself to prove my worth.  I want more for my kids. I want my kids to know their inherent value and worth. I want to empower my kids to love and accept themselves.  My self-love journey, aided by the expertise of a counselor, has helped me realize there are some narratives from my childhood I needed to unlearn. I had to accept my emotions as helpful and not something to be pushed down. I...

Keep Reading