Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

This is how I held you.

Wrapped up, entwined in my arms until you finally gave in to sleep. It wasn’t easy. I tried to wrap you up before this a few times, and you wouldn’t have it. You screamed and cried and wanted to go potty. For the third time. You didn’t want a diaper. You wanted to wash your hands. You wanted to get up. You wanted gum and then Tic Tacs (thanks GiGi and Pops). You wanted baby songs on, and then you didn’t want baby songs on. You didn’t want covers, and then you wanted covers. You wanted water, but only in the pink cup.

RELATED: I Need You to Nap But I Miss You When You Do

When you finally said I could lay down with you, you immediately found your spot.

In my arms, as it always has been. As it always will be. 

And in the crook of my arm, our legs tangled just so, you settled. Your breaths slowed, became even, and safety was found. Sleep came. 

When you were in my tummy, you did the same. You kicked and flipped, and as my hand lay upon you, my voice speaking to you, you settled. Later as an infant, you lay curled on my chest, full with milk, your ear to my heart, and you settled. 

But today, I lay there, holding your tiny body. Imprinting the weight of your legs upon mine. Savoring the small hands on my face. Thanking God for every little piece of you and your brothers.

RELATED: To My Child: I Will Lay With You Every Night As Long As You Need

Earlier today, your 6-year-old brother struggled in his own 6-year-old way. Again with the gum. His big emotions got control over and over, and after the climax before the necessary nap, he found himself falling into my arms. And I held him. I rocked him, long legs overflowing, closer to overtaking my height sooner than I want to believe.

Safety in the arms of a mom who looked him square in the eyes and told him I would love him no matter how many times a day he lost his ever-loving mind. He settled.

Earlier still, your 7-year-old brother smashed his fingers in the door. This one really is almost as tall as I am, but I lifted him in my arms all the same. Hanging on to every last time it happens knowing it may truly be my last. Deep breaths taken, kisses given, and the pain ebbed. He settled. 

RELATED: Will You Make Room For Me, Mom?

So, you, my precious third gift from God, lay here, our hearts knocking on one another’s, our breaths flow in and out. Our veins twist and run and flow creating a beautiful painting of life and love and loyalty that nothing can mimic. You, such a vast part of me, and me forever a part of you. You will grow tall like your brothers, but you see, they are still at home in my arms just as much as you are.

The fit is different, the frequency changed, but forever, the beating of their hearts synced with mine. My arms still the soft place they land when the world is hard. 

My body will hold each of you until the day I no longer can, and even then, I will try. I will crawl to where you are. I will climb until my legs give out. I will run until I fall, and then I will get up and keep going. Nothing can stop me from loving you. Nothing can stop me from being there for you. Not a thing.

Because I love each of you so very, very much. Always will. No matter what. Until the end of time. 

~Mommy

Originally published on the author’s blog

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Kalan Krueger

I am a momma to three minions and a very patient dog. A perpetual over-cooker of every single piece of chicken but can bake a mean banana pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I have lived some of life's darkest moments but choose to write about the light that God always provides. You can find me over at tattooedheart.org.

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading

1-Year-Olds Are Wonderful

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
1 year old baby smiling

Newborns—who doesn’t love them?  The captivating scent of a brand new baby, their fragile little bodies laying so delicately on your chest. Everything that comes with a newborn baby is just absolute magic. But have you ever had a 1-year-old? I used to think the newborn phase was my favorite, nothing could ever be better than having such a tiny helpless little human rely on you for absolutely everything. I could hold my newborn for hours, soaking in every tiny little detail before it became nothing but a beautifully distant memory. But I’ve realized it’s 1-year-olds who have a special...

Keep Reading

My Kids Are All in School Now and It’s a Little Lonely

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman looking out window alone

I had just dropped my children off at school. All of them. My youngest has just started full-time. It was my first full day on my own since she began, and I had really been looking forward to it, so I took myself into town to do a bit of shopping and grab a coffee. Just me. The kind of days dreams are made of, right? I could suddenly breathe again.  I only had myself to answer to.  I got my latte and something to eat. And then I cried.  My eyes filled with tears as I sat in the...

Keep Reading

I Love You Even When I Say I Don’t

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter touch foreheads

“I love you even when I say I don’t.” These words came out of nowhere from my 5-year-old. I was standing in the bathroom with her (we still don’t like to go potty without mommy standing right there), and she wouldn’t look at me while talking to me. You see, my 5-year-old and I have been in more spouts than ever before. She’s found this new attitude in her first couple months of kindergarten, coming home with new phrases including, “No, I don’t want to–you do it.” It hurts my heart, makes me frustrated, and leaves me asking myself where...

Keep Reading

Big Questions at Bedtime Don’t Require Perfect Answers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child at bedtime

Last night at bedtime, my son asked why everyone has to die one day. The thought of my sweet 7-year-old grappling with the weight of such a question hurt my heart. He looked so small tucked under a fleece blanket, clutching his favorite stuffed panda. How could the same little boy who just started second grade wearing a space backpack stuffed with bright, wide-ruled notebooks ask such a thing?  Perhaps my children are more aware of the inevitability of death than other kids their age due to the passing of various family pets over the past few years, or perhaps...

Keep Reading

If Someone Needs a Friend, Be a Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Three kids with backpacks, color photo

“If someone needs a friend, be a friend” it’s the running joke in our family. My husband will say the phrase to our four kids when discussing certain life situations in a lovingly mocking type way. They’ll all look at me and chuckle. I giggle a little myself at the corniness of it. But I always add, “It’s true.” It’s a phrase I’ve used more times than I can count. To teach them all to be includers—the kind of kids who look for the kid having a bad day and seek to brighten it, the kind of kids who stand...

Keep Reading