Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!🎄 ➔

I saw your face, teacher on the sidewalk.

I was dropping off my little and I saw your warm and genuinely welcoming face when you greeted him once he was out of the car. There was a fleeting change of your face that happened just seconds before that, though… so subtle, most eyes wouldn’t catch it.

But I saw it.

Seconds before you greeted him, your face was somber. Pensive. You were thinking of something else, your mind far away from the steady stream of cars before you. You had a tiny, six-second break between doors opening, and I wondered where your mind went.

Maybe to today’s to-do list or your lesson plans or an impending meeting with an unhappy parent.

But I wondered if maybe, just maybe, your heart wasn’t on campus at all.

Maybe it was on how you and your spouse left the house in an argument this morning.

Maybe it was because he slept on the couch last night. Again.

Maybe you have a child who has a doctor’s appointment today that you won’t get to go to because you have to teach my child what sound T and H make together.

Maybe you dropped your child off at college and your soul is hurting.

Maybe you realized you left your checkbook and urgent bills on the counter or you’re worried your daughter didn’t grab her lunch box because she was running out the door late to catch her bus.

Maybe you are worried about your aging mother in Ohio or the endless financial strain you’ve been living under as a single mom.

Maybe you have a teenager who refuses to speak to you or a toddler who is allergic to something you can’t figure out.

Maybe you’re worried about your dog that you’re probably going to have to make a heartbreaking decision about soon… the dog you’ve had since you were in college.

Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep last night or for the last six months since your new baby arrived.

Maybe you wish you chose a different job. A different path. A different life.

I don’t know what you were thinking or what was on your heart, but I want to thank you.

Thank you for opening the car door and choosing my son over the burden of your heart. In that moment, you made him feel seen and wanted and loved and important. You being present for him at 7:30 a.m. makes it easier for me to drive off and leave him every day. You being present for him requires you to sacrifice so much of yourself in such a split second of time.

And I saw you do it today.

You’ll do it again tomorrow, and I’ll pray for you as I see you make that choice. You’ll keep making that choice and I’ll keep believing that wherever that loved one is that you’re having to put on your heart’s back burner so you can love on my child, he or she is also feeling seen and wanted and loved and valued by whoever is opening the door for them.

Thank you.

For the rest of my life, thank you for choosing my child.

Making someone feel seen is such holy, sacred work. You do it so well.

This post originally appeared on Jill Windham Writes.

 

You may also like:

Dear Teacher, You Are the Bridge

A Love Letter to My Kids’ Teachers from a Grateful Mom

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

Pre-Order Now

Jill Windham

Jill Windham is a wife, mother, writer, and pastor in North Alabama. She is passionate about her family, her Aussiedoodle, naps, caffeine, and chips & salsa. She and her husband, Rod, have been married for 22 years and still really like each other. Jill loves to celebrate for small reasons and connect with moms who are worn out and looking for real talk about the raw and real sides of motherhood. You can follow her writing on Facebook at Jill Windham Writes, or read her blog at www.jillwindham.com.

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