Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Today, as we strolled through the aisles of Target, we approached the school supply section, your face lit up, and you pulled my hand eagerly towards the brightly colored displays.

You made a beeline for the lunchboxes because you’ve told me every day for the last two years how excited you were to eat lunch in the cafeteria, with your friends, when you got to kindergarten. And baby, you have no idea how much I’ve been looking forward to packing your lunch every day, complete with a napkin note, just like your nana used to do for me.

You looked up at me and said, “Mommy, can I pick out a lunchbox even though I will be eating lunch at home?”

As you wandered down the aisle looking at all the choices, I stood back and felt the weariness press down upon my shoulders. My throat felt thick as I tried my best to swallow down the tears.

RELATED: Dear Kindergarten Mama, I Know Your Heart is Hurting

You see, you won’t be eating lunch in the cafeteria with your friends.

You won’t be putting on that first day of school outfit, complete with the oversized backpack monogrammed with your initials in green because it’s your favorite color.

We won’t be walking into your new school together, and entering your classroom to find your desk fashioned with a shiny new name tag.

You won’t get to hug your teacher or high five your friends, and I won’t get to kiss you softly upon your cheek as you let go of my hand and walk away, ready to take on the world.

Everything has changed.

Everything is different.

Everything I envisioned for your first day of school has completely been flipped upside down and turned inside out.

Everything is broken and backward and my heart is hurting that this right of passage has been taken away from you.

Your daddy and I had to make decisions.

Decisions that we agonized over for weeks, and decisions that we never in a million years dreamed we’d have to make.

RELATED: There Are No ‘Right’ Decisions About School This Year So Please Just Be Kind

I wish I could tell you we made the right decision, but I honestly don’t think there is one. Nobody knows what the future will hold, and all we can do is hope and pray that we made the best decision for our family.

You will be starting your first year of school at home, with me.

It’s not what we had planned, but it’s God’s plan, and I have to trust that it’s the best plan right now.

Your classroom will be virtual, and even though you can’t physically hug your new teacher, I know she will be there for you every single day. I know she’ll make this experience one that you’ll remember forever.

You might not have a backpack, but you’ll have your own special space that I will decorate and make yours. Complete with shiny new pencils, crayons, and notebooks.

We’ll still put on a new outfit, and I’ll still take a million pictures of you with a sign that lets everyone know this is your first day of school.

And you know what, baby? We’re going to take home that Harry Potter lunch box you picked out.

I’m going to pack you a lunch every day anyway, complete with a napkin note, just like your nana used to do for me.

Because I realized something so incredibly important today as I watched you browse those brightly colored displays of pencil cases and binders.

It’s going to be OK. Everything is going to be OK.

RELATED: Right Now, We All Need the Bravery of a Kindergartener

Sure, things aren’t how we imagined. Sure, this isn’t what we planned. Sure, we have no clue how hard it’s going to be to juggle all the things every day.

But you know what? I’m going to make the best of it, and give you the best kindergarten year I can.

I can’t promise that we won’t have bad days, and I can’t promise that we won’t regret this choice from time to time, but I can promise you that you will be safe and you will be loved.

You will learn, and grow, and be challenged. You will play and you will have fun. We will laugh, and we will celebrate every accomplishment and do all the things kindergarteners are supposed to do.

Today, as we strolled through the aisles of Target, I realized that as defeated and broken as I’ve felt these past few weeks, you’ve always just been an excited little boy, looking forward to your first year of school.

And as your mama, I’m going to make sure this year is one that lives up to every bit of that excitement.

Because you are so ready to take on the world.

Brand new lunchbox and all.

Originally published on Facebook

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 for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Mari Ebert

My name is Mari Ebert, and I am a full-time teacher, a mama of two, a wife, and a blogger. My passion is writing, and my hope is to share my experiences with other mamas, and embrace all of the hot mess moments along with the super mom moments because we all have to be a little bit of both to survive the crazy journey of motherhood. 

Yes, We Wanted a Big Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Big family silhouette

Baby number WHAT?!?! Okay, okay, I know having FIVE children in the modern world is a bit of an anomaly, but the responses we have gotten from sharing our joyful (to us!) news has been a bit over-the-top. You see, my husband and I always dreamt of a big family, verbally expressing four to five children as our ultimate number. After having three, I must say I had to do some convincing to keep going, as my husband felt our hands were pretty full. I do agree our hands were pretty full, but I still felt our hearts could handle...

Keep Reading

How Much Longer Will I Watch Them Play?

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two boys at indoor playground, color photo

As I sit here watching my two boys running around on the bright-colored foam mats, sliding down the bright red and green slides that end up in a ball pit full of giggles, I can’t help but wonder how much longer I will enjoy this sight. They’re both growing up so fast—T-shirts with their favorite characters have been replaced by plain colors.  Curtains with Paw Patrol now invite an “Eww, cringe!” reaction. Slowly their boy bedroom decor has been updated to reflect the cool gamers they so want to be. RELATED: He’s a Boy For Just a Little While Longer No...

Keep Reading

God Gave Him Bigger Feelings

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy on playground, color photo

He came home from school last week and asked, “Why do I get so angry but my friends never do? Why am I not the same?” And it broke me. Because he is passionate and intelligent and kind and intuitive and beautiful. He didn’t always seem different. We never paid attention to how he would line everything up in play. And we would laugh it off as a quirk when he would organize everything dependent upon shape, size, and color. He was stubborn, sure, but so am I. And then COVID happened, and we attributed the lack of social skills...

Keep Reading

We Have a Big Family and Wouldn’t Change a Thing

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four children in front of Christmas tree, color photo

I have just had my fourth baby. A baby who wasn’t expected but very much wanted and very much loved from the moment we found out. When we told people we were expecting, the response was underwhelming. The stream of intrusive questions would then ensue:  You already have your hands full, how will you cope with four? You’ll need a bigger car! Where will they all sleep? Don’t you own a TV? You know how babies are made right? People seemed to have such a strong opinion about me having a fourth child. RELATED: We Had a Lot of Kids...

Keep Reading

As a Mom I’m Far From Perfect, But I Hope You Remember the Joy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Happy mother and daughter on the beach

Sometimes, I think about the future when you are grown and I am gone. When all that’s left of me are photographs and memories. I know what the photographs will show. I took most of them, after all. But the memories I’m less sure of. I wonder what will stick with you after all that time. How will you remember me? One day, your grandkids will ask you about me. What will you say? Will you tell them I was always distracted? Will you remember that I looked at my phone too much? Will you tell them I didn’t play...

Keep Reading

Being a Daycare Mom Can Be So Hard

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding boy on couch, black-and-white photo

Dear daycare mom,  I know it’s hard.  To get yourself up before them, to make lunches, to pack the bags, to get yourself ready.  To go into their rooms, where they are peacefully sleeping, and turn the lights on.  To struggle to get them breakfast, get them dressed, and get them out the door.  I know it’s hard.  To have a morning rush when all you want to do is snuggle up on the couch and ease into your day.  RELATED: When a Mom is Late To Work To feel like you are missing out on their childhood at times...

Keep Reading

The PB&J that Saved the Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Table with three plates of PB&J sandwiches, color photo

It was one of those days.  One of those days when your pants are too tight, you wake up with a headache, and the kids’ rooms are disasters at 8 a.m. It was one of those days when I had to physically go into Target for our groceries since I didn’t have time to wait for pickup—I think that alone should sum up exactly the kind of day it was.  The kids were hangry. The toddler was, well, toddler-y. RELATED: Toddlers Are Human Too—And Sometimes They Just Need Grace Two minutes into our shopping trip, she had kicked her light-up rain...

Keep Reading

One Day He’ll Love Another Woman More than He Loves Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

To Benjamin, my 16-month-old son, I am everything. I am the first person that boy looks for when he wakes up in the morning and the last person he wants before he goes to bed. If he is in a room full of people he loves and I am not there, he will search for me.  If he has a problem, mommy is the solution. I am the answer to his cries. I feel confident in saying that I am the most important person in that little boy’s little world. I love it. It is an honor and a privilege...

Keep Reading

To My Sister, Thank You For Being the Best Aunt To My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood
Aunt with three young kids

“Do you have the kids’ basketball schedule yet?” you texted the other day. I sent back a screenshot of the calendar, and within an hour you responded telling me which game you’d be coming to. It was a simple exchange, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude for your love for my kids in that moment. It’s something I think often but don’t say nearly enough: thank you for being such an amazing aunt. Truly.  I know it’s not always convenient. You live three hours away and have a busy, full life of your own—but still, you show up for your niece and nephews...

Keep Reading

In Defense of the Stubborn Child

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy hanging over dock, color photo

“Lamp. Lamp. Laaaaamp,” my 2-year-old son screamed while stomping his feet. Tears were running down his face and snot was dripping dangerously close to his mouth. I put on what I hoped would be a soothing, motherly tone, “Okay, just calm down.” While trying to maintain eye contact, I slowly reached toward the tissue box. This must be what the greats like Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin, or the Kratt brothers feel like when facing a volatile animal in the wild. The sound of a tissue being pulled from the box caused the crying to stop abruptly. His eyes flitted toward...

Keep Reading