Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!🎄 ➔

Today should have been her prom.

But instead, she is in the car with her father, taking her first trip outside these walls since March. A ride to the store is a treat that brought a tear to her eyes tonight.

We offered to do the whole prom at home thing that is sweeping the interwebs, but she is just too sad.

For her, a substitute doesn’t bring comfort. Her dad’s offer of sushi brought a smile to her face so off she went, wearing her mask and holding her dad’s hand.

RELATED: Dear Senior Class, This Was Supposed To Be the Time of Your Life

Today we once again we were called to give our tall girl a hug of sympathy. Once again we say, “I’m so sorry. I just hate this for you.”

Once again there is nothing we can do or promise to make up for what she has lost.

We hug her just as we hugged our oldest when she found out she couldn’t go back to college.

And again when they broke down after seeing their friends on her computer screen.

RELATED: Dear Kids, Thank You For Being the Strong Ones

And again every time we talk about how the year might look different next year.

And we hug them when a wave of missing their friends hits them particularly hard.

Or when they just want to be able to ask their teacher or professor for help in person when online learning becomes way too frustrating.

Or when they wonder when they will be able to go back to their jobs so they can save for cars they are desperate to need again or trips they want to take with their choir group or tuition bills that need to be paid.

We look at a prom dress covered in plastic in the closet and backpacks that haven’t left the house in weeks and the car keys that are always, always hanging up where they belong and these things can bring tears at any given moment.

I am so grateful for the extra time with these beautiful, amazing, and fun tall kids. We get more time with these blessings.

But in our gains, we can’t deny what they have lost.

Over and over and over they seem to lose.

They pick themselves up. They do their online schooling. They Snapchat with friends. They watch movies as a family and help clean the kitchen.

They keep on going.

They are sad and they are strong.

RELATED: Here’s to the Kids Missing the Little Things

So we need to give them the gift of acknowledging their losses. We need to be so careful not to play the “Well at least….” game. There is no comparing what they are losing.

Our kids have all lost something…our bigs and our littles.

Missing graduation from kindergarten or high school or missing your fourth grade trip to the capital or your junior prom or missing your sport or your school play or even just missing the safety of going to school each day, these losses cannot be tallied and quantified and compared.

A hurting heart is a hurting heart. Each is entitled to grieve their losses without a drop of guilt. Full stop.

And at the same time, our parent hearts hurt for them whether they lost a year of kindergarten or their senior year of high school. We are entitled to grieve this too. No guilt.

When our kids hurt, so do we.

And so we hug them. We tell them we love them and that we hate this for them.

And we hold their hand and take them for grocery store sushi because it is all we can do.

All we can do is let them be sad. We can’t make up for their losses. But we can love them through it all.

This post originally appeared on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt

 

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

Pre-Order Now

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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

I Hope My Daughter Always Hears My Voice

In: Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler girl putting on sock, color photo

“Dots on bottom. Stretch over toes,” she mutters to herself while independently putting on her tiny toddler socks. I must have said those words to her about a thousand times and responded to “Mama, help” even more . . . modeling how to correctly put them on until the moment she finally pushed me away and insists on executing this task herself. When I believe I sound like a broken record, what I’m actually doing, as it turns out, is imparting wisdom . . . “Uh oh, try again,” she declares when her tower topples. “Chew first, then talk,” she...

Keep Reading