Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for a toddler. Physically speaking, there is nothing more adorable on the planet. Soft ringlets. Big eyes. Chubby feet. Large enough for independent mobility, small enough to curl up in your lap.

They are perfect.

Perhaps even more enchanting than the physical elements are all of the other things that accompany this period. The beginning abilities to hold a conversation. Innocent musings that could only come from the mind and the mouth of the very young. Exciting milestones proudly conquered daily; hopping on one foot, singing a song, kicking a ball.

I reveled in the years of toddlerdom, not taking one day for granted when my two boys were small. I took mental notes of everything, forever tucked away in my memory. How they smelled when they woke in the morning. Sweetly furrowed brows of concentration while figuring out how to interlock the large pieces of the zoo train puzzle. The way the shadows of their small silhouettes fell in the sunshine. Sweaty, little fists wrapped around wilted bouquets of wildflowers. I even remember what it feels like to fold tiny pajamas.

The one factor that tainted these short years was a constant voice in the back of my mind: This won’t last forever. This won’t last forever. And it didn’t.

Poof. I have a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old.

No more babies in my lap. No more helpers sitting on the kitchen counter. No more Curious George in the afternoon.

But I have other things now.

A boy who hits a small ball with a bat, and the pride in his eyes when he accomplishes this feat.

Another boy, equipped with scissors and colored pencils, tirelessly creating.

Both boys, strong and fast, gliding effortlessly on bikes down the back path.

My companions to the movie theatre, passing a box of Milk Duds between us, like three old friends.

My compassionate problem-solvers, impressing me with their ability to find our dog in the storm, and then make a soft, safe place for her.

My comedians, all three of us laughing out loud at their impressions of me (“Coffee! Where’s my coffee?!”).

And a bouquet of wilted wildflowers sitting in my kitchen window.

I find myself relishing these moments, too.

RELATED: We’ve Slowly and Subconsciously Convinced our Older Children That Somewhere Along the Way, They’ve Lost Their Magic

I still take mental notes. Just like when they were toddlers, I don’t want the time to end. When will these moments will disappear? This won’t last forever. This won’t last forever.

Then I remember the joy that has come with the passage of time. There will be more love, more laughter, and more wildflowers.

More wonder awaits.

You may also like:

Older Kids Are Magic, Too

Savor These Moments, Mama, Because Time Flies

We’ve Slowly and Subconsciously Convinced our Older Children That Somewhere Along the Way, They’ve Lost Their Magic

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jackie Hostetler

Jackie Hostetler is a wife and mother, a writer and teacher -in that order. She has worked in the field of education for 18 years, earning a Bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education, as well as a Master’s Degree in education. She is a freelance writer and has contributed to numerous education, early childhood, and family-centered blogs. Her passions include early childhood education and her two young boys, who slip farther away from early childhood each day.

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading

To the Fifth Grade Parents: Thank You

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Arcade style photo machine, color photo

To the fifth-grade parents in my community: How are we here already? The end of fifth grade. The end of elementary school. It feels like yesterday we saw each other at kindergarten drop off, some of us through the tears of sending our first baby to school, some seasoned pros, and a small group of us with a touch of extra worry in our mama hearts—the special ed mamas. Among the many things I worried about sending my kindergarten son to school was how your children would treat him. Would they laugh at him like they did at his Montessori...

Keep Reading