So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

At first, it was just me. You weren’t even a glimmer in my mind.

Through the night-feedings. The early-morning cuddles. The midday naps. The evening tears.

Through the first steps. The puddle-jumping. The mess-making.

Through the first words. The nighttime stories. The bedtime dance-parties.

Through trying new foods. The cooking adventures. The we’ll-clean-it-up-later kitchen messes.

It was just her and me. Her eyes were all mine. Fixed on me. And only me. From one adventure to the next. I had her undivided attention. And an adoration that words can’t explain. My heart was full.

Yet, there was still an ever-present tugging.

Before I knew it, you became an outline. A shadow. A distant figure. Almost haunting, following us around. You became all-too-real.

You started to creep into my dreams. You kept me up at night. Fighting to hold back the tears. And sometimes, letting them fall free. You were the cause of my worry. My uncertainty. My fears.

RELATED: Dear Anxious Kindergarten Parents, From a Teacher Waiting For Your Babies

And I began to wonder. What you might look like. How you might talk. Your demeanor. Your carefulness. Your way with her.

Questions rolled through my mind . . . 

Would she like you?
How would you care for her?
Would you wipe away her tears?
Would you hold her hand tightly?

Would you cheer her on to the finish line?
Would you emphasize character, above all?
Would I like you?
Would you be open with me?
Would you erase my fears?
Would you let us help you cheer her on?
Would there be room for us both?

But, we couldn’t stop time. And that night finally came. Just hours before we would meet. My eyes were swollen. My heart was full. My stomach was in knots.

She had been our world. Our light. Our baby. Our growing girl. Ours and only ours. We were selfish. And we knew it. But we couldn’t help it.

Until we met you.

I will never forget those first steps through the school doors.

Watching her excitement. As she skipped and walked, simultaneously, through the brightly-decorated hallways. Not a care in the world.

I made sure she couldn’t see my tears. Only my smile. Even though I could not say any words. For the lump in my throat was silencing.

The door to your room came all-too-soon, and we were finally face-to-face.

You held out your hand, and your eyes said it all.

“I promise she will like me. I will do everything possible to take great care of her. We have plenty of tissues and Band-Aids, too. I will hold her hand firmly. I will pull out my pom-poms. I will make sure she knows I am proud!

“You will like me too, I am certain. We will talk often. It’s OK to cry. I know she’s your baby. I have two of my own. We have plenty of tissues. You can take some home. My door is always open. You can cheer as loud as you’d like.

“And yes, please know, from the bottom of my heart, there is room for us both.”

And that’s when I knew. Deep within my heart. In the trenches of my soul. In every corner of my mind. With every ounce of my being.

You were the bridge.

You would protect her from troubled waters. Watch over her when she was smooth-sailing. Shelter her from the storms.

You were our walkway. And her path. From our protective universe. Into this huge and scary and exciting “real” world. Ready and waiting. To help her make her mark.

You were built just for her. Just for us.

And now, you are everywhere. In our car rides. Sitting at our dinner table. Reprimanding stuffed animals during playtime.

You have more influence in my home than I do some days. She wants to please you even when you are not around. She wants you to be proud of her. Even when she can’t see you. Together, hand-in-hand, we have created something incredible.

And every day, as she pulls away from my embrace. As she turns one last time to wave goodbye. As we exchange I love yous and kisses floating through the air. With her shoes tied tightly, walking across the street to her big, yellow-bus. And with her heart ready to learn.

I know she will be ready when her feet cross through the door and onto the bridge once more.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

You may also like:

Dear Anxious Kindergarten Parents, From a Teacher Waiting For Your Babies

Dear Teachers, Thank You For Loving Our Kids as Your Own

Liz Spenner

Liz is a former elementary teacher and now a stay-at-home mama to six little ones. She writes as an inspiration and encouragement to other women, and most especially mothers on her blog, (where you can subscribe and receive her free Five-Day Mini-Motherhood Devotional!). Liz loves spending with her family, outside as often as possible, as well as sneaking a few moments to herself with a run, dark chocolate and writing, with her faith as her greatest motivation.

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Kids Crave Your Time, Not Fancy Things

In: Kids, Motherhood
Dad and daughter with basketball smiling

I have four kids, and like most parents, I’m doing my best to give them a happy childhood, but we’re not really an activity family. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good day trip to the local water park or a night out at the movies, but with several different ages and a tight budget, activities or outings are rare for us. Sometimes I end up feeling bad about it, like our kids are missing out, but then I take a deep breath and realize that some of the best moments come from the simplest of things. Lucky for...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergarten Graduate—Wherever Life Takes You, I’ll Always Be Your Safe Place To Land

In: Kids, Motherhood

I cried on your first day of kindergarten. Did you know that? I held it together through the getting ready and the goodbyes—but once I had waved one last time and was pulling out of the parking lot, the lump in my throat poured out as hot tears down my cheeks.  How could you be starting kindergarten? You, my precious firstborn baby. We had some growing pains as we adjusted to a new routine. The school days were so long. I spent my days missing you and you spent yours missing me. We were apart from each other more than...

Keep Reading

The Secret to Slowing Down Time Is to Notice the Moments You’re Living In

In: Kids, Motherhood

Dear current self, You’ve heard a lot of mothers admonish you to slow down and enjoy every moment with your children. They’ve warned you with phrases like “before you know it,”  “in the blink of an eye,” and other cliché’s that haven’t really hit you, but they will. Soon, they will. I am writing you now because I’ve seen you trying to wrap your mind around the how-to—as if holding time in your hand is a skill anyone has successfully mastered. I’ll save you the suspense. It can’t be done. It is inevitable. Your kids are going to grow up....

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Celebrate a Holiday Just Because It’s On the Calendar

In: Kids, Living

I switched on the computer, adjusted my chair, then quickly swiveled back around again toward my husband, “Are you sure? You don’t mind?” “Me?” he made a swift waving motion as if swatting a fly. “Psht. Yeah, I’m fine with it. You?” He lifted his head and locked our eyes a little more securely, “Are you sure?” “Yes,” I said firmly, without hesitation. “OK, good,” my man turned back to his phone, “Love you.” “Good,” I confirmed. A rush of relief swept through me as muscles I didn’t even know were tense suddenly relaxed. A bubbling surge of energy had...

Keep Reading

I’m Raising Wild Boys

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy and toddler smiling at each other, color photo

Yesterday my boys (two and eight) were playing outside in our cul-de-sac—running, yelling, tackling each other . . . all the normal stuff. One of the neighbor moms was out as well, looking on as her son joined the fray.  “I need to send him over to your house for a week or two,” she joked, “so he can get more in touch with his boyness.”  “No, you don’t want to do that. My boys are wild things,” I quickly replied. And I wasn’t joking. My sons are rough, tough, primal beings.  Moments before this conversation, my oldest was ramming...

Keep Reading

A Big Move Brings Big Emotions For Little Kids—Here’s How to Help Them Cope

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood

It doesn’t matter how outgoing or funny or charismatic your kids might be, the possibility of uprooting their little lives and relocating to a new city is terrifying for any parent. Add a global pandemic into the mix, and it’s an idea that feels almost insurmountable.  But when my husband got a job offer we couldn’t refuse, we packed up the car and drove our two kids (eight and four) west from Pennsylvania to the great state of Arizona. The decision weighed heavily on me, and I wasn’t prepared for the avalanche of mom guilt that followed. But as I’ve...

Keep Reading

My Kids May Never Be Professional Athletes, But They’ll Be Strong, Confident Adults Because of Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tween boy playing hockey, color photo

I have pivoted 180 degrees over the last few years on one major bone of contention in our household of four, which includes two sporty kids who love ice hockey and baseball: the rationale behind our, in my opinion, excessive expenditure of resources on our sons’ youth sports careers, and whether this makes any sense.  Neither of them is NHL or MLB bound. Or at least the chances, statistically, are extremely minuscule. And yet, we have directed an inordinate amount of our life savings as well as our precious time to not only club sports, but also private lessons, to...

Keep Reading

Food Allergies Won’t Stop Her—How My Daughter Is Teaching Me to Be Brave

In: Kids, Motherhood

Dear daughter, I know sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever do normal things without me hovering over you. Double and triple-checking your snack labels and drilling you about whether your allergy meds are packed and ready. It’s a lot for you to carry, physically and emotionally. But you’re so strong, sweet girl. Flexible, too. You can do this because you were built for it. And someday, someday, you’ll see it: that this story is yours because you carry it with grace. You don’t complain much, and when you do, you follow it up with a wise comment, saying this sort...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections