Every day my brothers and I stepped off the school bus, we’d run into the house where Mom greeted us at the door. In the cabinet under the oven that hung on the wall, we had our choice of snack cakes. The peanut butter wafers dipped in chocolate were my favorite. If I split them apart and licked the peanut butter off before eating the wafer, it lasted longer. I’d sit down at the table with my mom, telling her all about my day. If she got bored with the details, she didn’t let on.

We never outgrow needing our moms.

The hardest part of leaving for college was the knowledge that life back home went on without me. I’d hear about the family gatherings, but I was hundreds of miles away. All those garage sale finds my mom and her sister found without me. When Mom and Dad announced they were getting a divorce, the miles felt insurmountable. It was Mom who needed help the most, but I still needed my mom, too. Our visits during this time left us both in tears.

We never outgrow needing our moms.

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He broke my heart. The worst part of it was I don’t think it meant that much to him. I had a few precious days to spend with my mom. She was tender and loving, not asking for any details. The little girl inside me knew what would help the most. A 25-year old grown woman, I leaned over in the back seat of the car we were in and laid my head in her lap.

We never outgrow needing our moms.

As we drove up to the new-to-her house in town, I whispered a prayer, “God, let them like one another.” It was the first meeting between my future husband and my mom. He was kind to her, sharing what he knew about divorce, encouraging her to let time do its work. She watched the way he cared for me and later voiced her approval. Months later, before he proposed, he asked her permission to take my hand in marriage.

We never outgrow needing our moms.

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I guess you could say my first garden was a success. We had so many cucumbers I was contacting local food pantries to see which ones offered fresh-grown vegetables so they could take a few off my hands. I Googled ways to preserve zucchini. Mom had regularly kept a garden. The shelves in our basement were full of canned green beans, tomatoes, and grape juice. Growing up eating all that fresh produce, and I’d never paid any attention. When I spoke with my mom, I asked why she’d never taught me and what tips she had to offer me now? She mailed me her recipe book on canning because she hadn’t done all that work in years.

We never outgrow needing our moms.

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Rarely a day goes by I don’t call my mom. As a mom myself now, I need all the advice I can get.

Is it common for a toddler to throw a tantrum for 10 minutes or more? How do I raise my daughter to be a giver and not just a taker? Does she want to go to church or is she doing it because I make her? When do we get past the middle school girl drama? Will I be as good a mom as you were? These are all questions that come up in our phone conversations.

We never outgrow needing our moms.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:26-27).

Traci Rhoades

My name is Traci. I live in southwest Michigan, somewhere in a triangular section connecting Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids with all things Lake Michigan. My husband and I parent one daughter. We have dogs, cats, ducks, pigs and chickens. Their number is always changing, as farm animal counts tend to do. I enjoy watching sports, reading, cooking and all things Bible study. I am a writer. When I first started blogging, I wondered about what unique voice I could bring. I’ve landed on this one line: A country girl goes to church.