So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Almost every single night for the last six years my daughter has fallen asleep on my shoulder while twirling my hair.

I can literally count the number of times on my hands that she didn’t—the couple of times she slept over at her grandma’s house and the few nights I went away without her, but other than that, almost every single night of her life she has been with me.

Some people say that is too much.

That I shouldn’t let her be that dependent on me.

RELATED: To My Child: I Will Lay With You Every Night As Long As You Need

But what I don’t tell them is this is just a part of us.

She is my second daughter, my last baby.

This has just become who we are, and we both don’t know any other way.

Of course, there are some nights I resent it.

She is old enough to go to sleep on her own, I say.

I want to be able to go out at night once in a while and not worry about her waiting up for me when I get home, I say.

RELATED: The Bedtime Hoops: 4 Important Questions to Ask Your Kids Every Night

Some nights she is difficult to get to fall asleep, and I sigh heavily and wish she would just fall asleep quicker so I could go relax on my own.

But then . . . 

There are other nights I just soak her all in.

I feel her warm, little body curled up next to mine, and I smell her hair and wonder how long will this last.

And I thank God for this sweet little girl.

And I cherish that she is still small enough to fall asleep on my shoulder.

That she still wants me near.

That we have this familiar routine that is just ours.

I think of all the different stages—her being a newborn, her being a toddler, and now her being a little girl, and I think of how this one routine has stayed the same for us.

RELATED: Because One Day She Will Have To Walk Away

And I love that this is a part of us, a part of our story.

I know she is not going to be lying on my shoulder forever.

I know one day she will be too big to fit in my arms and fall asleep.

And for now, I am going to cherish it.

I am going to let her fall asleep on me, for I know one day soon it will just be our cherished memory.

Precious memories of the many years that my sweet girl laid her head on my shoulder and fell asleep in my arms surrounded by my love and comfort.

Jennifer Toscano

I am a wife, mother to two beautiful daughters and a follower of Jesus. I recently started my blog as a way to document my journey in faith and to share God's great love with others. I also love to cook, read and do graphic design. You can find me on Facebook: facebook.com/aheartfullofhope and on my website: AHeartFullofHope.com writing about faith, hope and motherhood.

When Your Last Baby Goes to School

In: Child, Motherhood

In just a few short weeks, our daughter will start preschool.  On Monday and Wednesday mornings, she’ll sling her little backpack over her shoulders, pull on her tie-dye sneakers, and head out the door. If you ask her about it, she’ll get a big grin on her face and tell you how excited she is. But me? While I’m ready for her to go and fully confident she’ll thrive, my stomach has also been doing flip-flops at the thought. Because she’s our youngest. Our little. Our last. If you’ve been here before, you know: When your last baby goes to...

Keep Reading

New Mom, Don’t Be Afraid to Blink

In: Child
Newborn photo in white bedding, color photo

I can barely keep my eyes open and my entire body is shaking from the anesthesia. As they stitch me up from this unplanned C-section, someone brings him to me, wrapped tightly in a blanket with a small blue-and-pink striped hat covering his head. My baby, who I felt growing within me for the better part of this year. My son is here. Blink. He screams with excitement when he realizes he’s no longer holding onto anything. He’s actually doing it. His first independent steps. He can’t keep the huge grin off of his face as he toddles across the...

Keep Reading

Coming Home to Kindergarten

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little boy with green backpack holding man's hand

I’m standing outside a row of heavy, metal doors and tentatively press the bright red “call” button. “Good morning, can I help you?” a bright, cheerful woman’s voice asks. “Yes, I’m here for my registration appointment?” I ask in return, despite the fact that it’s a statement. I’ve chosen to speak it as a question as if I’m not quite sure. Is that indeed what I’m here for? Can that possibly be true? “Welcome! I’ll buzz you right in. You can meet me in the office.” I hear the buzzer sound, the clicks of the lock mechanism unwinding, and I...

Keep Reading

Mommy, Will You Play With Me?

In: Child, Motherhood, Toddler
Mother and daughter playing and smiling

Her little voice sounds through the rooms, “Can somebody come and play with me?” “Honey, just a few minutes, I’m trying to make dinner,” I tell her. “Can somebody play with me, PLEASE?” she calls more insistently. My heart breaks as I think of her believing she simply did not properly formulate the request. She must have been proud to remember the correct way to make a request of someone. Can I really deny her again? If I did, what lasting damage might I do? I hurry, mixing the ingredients and oiling the pan. I do a series of equations...

Keep Reading

He’ll Walk in a Boy and Come Out a Man

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little boy with green dinosaur backpack

It feels like the beginning of goodbye. Oh, sure, my son is still a little boy, but not for long. Not really. His little-boy status is about change. For his entire life, my son and I have spent more time together than apart. He’s eaten lunch with me every day at our well-loved kitchen island. Afternoons have always involved nap time stories and snuggles—at first in a weathered rocking chair and more recently in his big but still little boy bed. He’s always kept me company in the car while waiting for the bell to ring at his big sister’s...

Keep Reading

Today Is the Day Your Hand Is as Big as Mine

In: Child, Motherhood
Little boy with handprint on paper, smiling, color photo

One of the first things I did after having your slippery body brought close to mine for the first time was count your fingers and toes and marvel at every minute detail of your frame. I noticed how long those tiny fingers were and wondered if you may be a pianist one day. But it didn’t matter because you were mine and they were perfect. As I cradled you in my arms and nursed you, I gently held those delicate newborn fingers in my hands. Sometimes, I’d so carefully try to clip those tiny, sharp fingernails before you woke—holding my...

Keep Reading

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

You’re Graduating From Kindergarten and the First Part of Your Life

In: Child, Motherhood
Mother, father, and little boy in graduation gown, color photo

To my little graduate:  I’m so proud of you. I used to think graduation ceremonies at this age were just a cute, end-of-the-year celebration. Now I see how much they really represent. I watched you in amazement this year. I saw all of your hard work. Not just academically but socially and emotionally as well. You learned to make friends without me there. You learned how to make your place in the world. You have learned to deal with disappointment, stand up for yourself, and the awkwardness of not being friends with everyone. You dealt with teasing because of your...

Keep Reading

He’s Outgrowing My Lap But He’ll Never Outgrow My Heart

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

He’s five now—my baby, the third of my three children. I feel like I’ve taken the time to enjoy each stage, but no matter how much I try to savor, it still seems to go too fast. Like grains of sand slipping through my fingers—if I try to hold on too tightly, the years just seem to escape faster. We were sitting in church this morning. He had asked to sit in church with mom and dad instead of going to children’s Sunday school. And we let him. He’s gone from a squirmy toddler to a little boy who can...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.