Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

With their cell phones as extensions of their hands, my kids expect I will be available at all times, under any circumstances. They text and call until I respond. It drives me batty.


Are you there?

Text back!

Most times, these super urgent texts are to inform me they need Chick-fil-a for dinner, or practice is running late, or they want to know where I am at 5:02 when I was supposed to pick them up at 5:00. I’ll admit, depending on my mood, sometimes I don’t text back immediately, or their call comes in and I hit the auto-responder: In a meeting. What’s up?

They have to learn to wait, right?

Last week, my husband and I really were in a meeting. As it ended, the caller ID flashed on my phone. It was my daughter Cali. Can’t she wait? I thought. She knows I’m in an appointment. I hit the auto-responder, reasoning I’d call her back as soon as we got into the car. Then the texts started:

Cali: It’s important.

Me: 5 minutes.

Cali: No mom, it’s really important.

The phone rang again and my gut told me to answer it.

My daughter, with a nervous laugh, said, “A car hit my bike on State Hill Road. Kate and I were going to the park—”

My heart slammed against my chest and my breath caught in my throat, but my brain instantaneously sorted two key facts: 1) she had the wherewithal to speak so 2) she couldn’t be too hurt.

“I’m okay . . .” she said again. “But the bike . . .”

My husband tore the phone from my hand. “What were you doing on State Hill Road?” he roared. Then, “We’re coming.”

We flew out of the appointment, both of us distraught and equally pissed she had her bike on the busy, no-shoulder road that abuts our neighborhood. Nevertheless, we were calm because it sounded like everything was okay. Still, I called her back in the car.

“I’m fine, Mom. We’re at the park.”

“Wait till we get there. Do not go near State Hill Road again.” We raced ten minutes across town and when we finally turned onto State Hill Road, my gut clenched. There was an ambulance, a police car, a small crowd of people, our son, and Cali’s mangled bicycle, but no Cali.

In an instant, I understood the woman who falls to her knees, her arms reaching to the sky, begging for grace, mercy, and pardon—bargaining with her own life for the safety of her child. The fear is physical, the adrenaline exploding through your body, shooting into every particle of your being.

I had to see my daughter. I climbed into the ambulance.

Cali smiled, and again laughed with a nervous edge. “I’m fine, Mom.”

“She’s okay,” the very serious EMT said, shaking his head as he bandaged her ankle. “This could have been bad. She’s a lucky girl.”

The tears welled in my eyes, the relief overwhelming.

The young police officer was shaken too. “When I got the call, I was afraid of what I’d find.”

Cali giggled.

“It’s not funny,” the officer said.

Cali and her friend Kate had decided to take an after-dinner bike ride in the park. They’re responsible, conscientious young women, both high school freshmen. They know to look both ways and to exercise extreme caution when crossing State Hill Road by pushing their bikes rather than riding them. They’re not risk-takers. Still, even careful kids make mistakes. Cali says she didn’t see the car coming. Kate, who paused at the side of the road, did.

“Stop!” Kate screamed.

Cali pivoted. The car sideswiped the bike, with Cali one step away from calamity.

All night long, I was jarred awake with images of what if?

What if Cali had been by herself?

What if she’d been riding, instead of pushing her bike?

What if she had ignored Kate?

What if? What if?

The answer was shattering. Life-altering. One from which none of us ever would have recovered. A mom a couple towns over, a woman I know in passing, buried her son this past spring after a car accident. It’s unfair. Indecent. Horrific. I know only a fraction of the weight and pain she carries now. My empathy is no comfort, but it’s all I have.

That night my seventeen-year-old son piled Cali’s broken bike into the rear of his fifteen-year-old pick-up truck. When Cali slid into the backseat of our Nissan Pathfinder with only an Ace bandage around her bruised calf, she broke down.

“I know it wasn’t funny.” She heaved. “I was too scared, so I tried to laugh. I didn’t want to cry in front of everyone.”

Later in the quiet of my daughter’s bedroom, I hugged her. The warmth of her body and the heat of her breath reminded me that, yes, we were so lucky. Each day is special. Thank God! We dodged another bomb hidden in the minefield of life.

The twisted bike lay in our driveway for twenty-four hours before I told my husband he had to get rid of it for I would never sleep again.

We’re done with bikes. State Hill Road is forever off limits.

It was a lesson learned for Cali. Accidents happen—in a blink of an eye. The most we can do is to be good to each other, to love one another, to watch out for our friends, to be the person who yells, “Stop,” or, maybe, as the girls find themselves in questionable high school situations, to be the voice that whispers quietly, “Don’t do that.”

I answer my kids’ texts more quickly now.

*This piece was originally published on 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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

Order Now

Heather Christie

Heather Christie is a wife, mother, writer, real estate broker, amateur cook, exercise freak, and avid reader. When she's not selling houses, she's writing books and blogging at She recently completed her MFA and her first novel What The Valley Knows. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, Mamapedia, The Good Men Project, Grown & Flown,, Bon Bon Break, the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Sammichs and Psych Meds, and The Lighter Side of Real Estate. Follow Heather’s Sunday Morning Blog and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading