When I hold you, I will try to remember your tiny arms and tiny legs wrapped securely around me.

When I see you crying, I will try to remember your scraped, tanned knees and how I could fix anything with a kiss and a Band-Aid.

When you tell me to go away, I will try to remember how you reached for my hand to take your next step.

When you answer me with silence, I will try to remember the nights you wouldn’t let me go without one more story.

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When you don’t accept my hugs, I will try to remember the warmth of how you crawled into my lap.

When you shut the door, I will try to remember standing at that place looking at you sleeping soundly.

When I haven’t seen your smile in weeks, I will try to remember your silly, uncontrollable giggles.

When your heart bleeds with pain and you think no one understands, I will try to remember untangling your knots.

When you lash out and say things, I will try to remember the first time you whispered, “I love you.”

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When you say you don’t need me, I will try to remember the endless times I heard you cry out, “Mommy, come here.”

When you believe the lies the world tells you, I will try to remember the way your eyes lit up on Christmas morning.

When you write about a better world, I will try to remember the beautiful moment you entered mine and made me a mother.

When you struggle, I will try to remember my promise to never, ever leave you.

And when you wake up one morning, with daily prayers answered, finally free from everything holding you hostage, I will remember the way you fell into my weary, warrior arms and made me whole once more.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Monica Stoltzfus

Monica Stoltzfus is a crafty Kindergarten teacher turned homeschool/stay-at-home mom of four young girls. She writes picture books for young ones like The Ripple (Clearfork Publishing/ Oct. 2019) about spreading kindness, which received First place by the National Indie Excellence Awards for "Best Inspirational Children's Book." She also writes for an older audience on her blog and in her newest book with the same first name, Just Compose Yourself: Finding Hope in Spilled Coffee (Rise/ June 2022).

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