Shop the fall collection ➔

Dear daughter,

I had a dream last night, you were 10 again. I saw you as you were exactly then, and my heart rejoiced. I knew I was dreaming, but I relished the moment as I could experience the freshness of your face, the light in your eyes, the bounce in your step, the exuberant confident ways of your heart . . . and then I woke, to realize the reality of the day.

RELATED: Because One Day She Will Have To Walk Away

You see, you are married now, you have left home, you are no longer 10. And at times I see the world weighing down on you in your efforts to smile and your lethargy in your activities, pretending you are OK. I see the doubt and insecurity in your eyes as you try to make sense of it all, and I know you are wondering how did life speed along so quickly to bring you to where you are now. The what-ifs never leaving that contemplative mind of yours.

I know, I feel that way, too.

I see your reluctance to leave us when you come to visit, and I know you sometimes wish you could just go back to being 10 when everything was right in the world, life was carefree, and all we had to worry about was getting to school and netball on time. Whether we would have a cereal night for tea or splurge and have pancakes. How you would rise before everyone else on someone’s birthday, just to set the breakfast table and make a pancake feast to surprise them. Or how you would set up the entire lounge room as a classroom to play schools with your siblings, cousins, or toys. I know you miss these days.

I know, I miss them, too.

RELATED: The Echoes of a Mother’s Love Remain After the Kids Are Grown

How I wish I could go back to those days and have you back in my complete care and arms where I could protect and love you as fiercely as I did then, knowing as long as I could just hold you and tell you it would all be OK and that the world would be a safe and fun place to grow into, then just maybe it would be. But it isn’t always, is it?

Life is hard, sometimes it hurts, and we are always moving forward into new phases and times because none of us can hold back the tide as much as we wish we could. 

I know, I wish I could, too.

Then I see you as the woman you have becomein your element, flourishing as God always intended you to, separate from us in the physical, yet as close as ever in heart, spirit, and mind. Your God-given skills, talents, and abilities have always been there, somewhat immature and clumsy in your youth, yet somehow beautiful, amazing, and awe-inspiring now in your adulthood. I always knew He had his hand on you, especially when you would talk of all your aspirations and what you intended to do when you were a grown-up. So many dreams and hopestoo many to imagine at timesand my mind would boggle as I’d ask God just what did He have in store for you? My dreams, yours, or His? 

RELATED: Seeing My Grown Daughter Happy Fills My Heart With Joy

Then here you are, and guess what–it is a combination of all four! I see all of us—you, me, your blessed dad, and our God, all rolled up into what makes you, you—the precious daughter we could never have dreamed into one perfect human being.

And though in locality you are no longer here permanently, you are always right here in our hearts, our memories, and our home. You fit right here. You always have, and you always will. No matter where your life takes you, what you choose to do to fill your days, and who you choose to do them with, we will always be with you and one day in Heaven, we will never ever be separated by time, locality or life ever, ever again, when we see His face and enjoy eternity together where all our dreams will be made perfectly complete.

I know, I wish for those days too.

Debra Wilson

Debra is a farmer's wife with three children, living in rural Australia. She has always had a love for writing, reading, sharing, and supporting others with life's stories. She currently coordinates a local support group for women and worked as a chaplain in schools during her children's school years. Today she and her husband enjoy managing their farm together and being involved in their kids' and extended families' lives, attempting to live a God-honouring life.

Senior Year Is Overwhelming For Moms Too

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
High school graduate kissing mother on cheek

We are mothers. We do ALL the things. We are varsity-level, starting lineup, go-to DOERS. We are in the business of getting it done. And we know that our fine-honed, behind-the-scenes skill of doing makes the wheels turn smoothly in our families.   We are the getting-it-done glue.  High fives all around. So, here comes this season of launching. Your child is now a high school senior. Guess what? As moms, we want to jump right in with our number one mom-tool . . . doing. I want to do the research. I want to do the planning. I want to...

Keep Reading

Caring For My Toxic Mother Is An Offering, Not a Duty

In: Grown Children
Woman pushing wheelchair

I’m living smack in the middle of a generational sandwich. If you haven’t heard the term before, “sandwich generation” refers to adult children taking care of both an elderly parent (or parents) and their own children. My husband and I take care of my elderly mom, along with our children, ages 15, 14, 10, 9, 6, and 3. It’s a lot. To make things more complicated, my mom and I didn’t have a relationship until a year ago. She was abusive to me growing up and then didn’t speak to me for 17 years after I got married. We only...

Keep Reading

My Little Girl is Getting Married and I Wonder, Did I Do Enough?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and bride touch noses

My daughter is fierce, independent, decisive. Somehow, that tiny baby girl I once held in my arms is now grown into a woman who will be married soon. The years I spent preparing her for the future sped by quicker than I ever believed could happen. There were so many things on my list to teach her. In the early years teaching her came naturally—teaching things like talking, walking, and toilet training. The 13 years of homeschooling her gave me the opportunity to teach her to read, write, and learn arithmetic. Then came all the life skills that every adult...

Keep Reading

What If I Could Meet My Mom Now?

In: Grief, Grown Children
Retro photo of woman in sunglasses

I attempt to swallow. My heart is in my throat. I hold back tears. The woman who stands before me is 36 and looks a lot like me, but is not me. I squeeze my arms, pinch my thigh to make sure. I don’t wake up. “Hello.” Her voice is soprano and nasally like mine. Her black, Farrah Fawcett hair frames her round face. We are the same height. We share the same eyes. The same smile. The same white teeth. The same nose. The same long legs. She wears a baggy t-shirt with white-washed jeans, the kind that are...

Keep Reading

Grief Comes in Waves as Our Mother Nears the End of Her Life

In: Grief, Grown Children
Elderly woman holding young woman's hand

“I think we can all agree that this is not fair.” My sister, Kari, was referring to our elderly mother as she addressed my oldest daughter, Chelsea, and me. Chelsea was holding both of her grandmother’s hands with her own as my mother slept fitfully. My mother was terrified of being alone, and this was pretty much the only way she was able to rest. “There is pain that is physical and pain that is psychic,” she continued, “and one is not worse than the other.” Our mother was in mental pain, and we wanted it to stop. When my...

Keep Reading

A Mother/Daughter Bond Should Be Unbreakable, but Sometimes It Isn’t

In: Grown Children, Living
Frowning woman holding phone

It’s OK to grieve your absent parents while they’re still alive. I see so many articles or well-meaning posts from people who had beautiful relationships with their parents and are now grieving their loss. It’s amazing to read about such incredible parent-child relationships, but it also usually comes with guilt for me. “Call your mom, I wish I still could.” Yeah, me too, I want to say. I stare at my phone, my finger hovering over her name, and sigh. I let the screen go black instead. My birth mother is alive and well but I chose to end my...

Keep Reading

Your Son Won’t Care About Decorating His Dorm Room

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
College boy in dorm room

  ‘Tis the season for dorms for those of us whose children are in college. You may be designing, planning, and buying dorm essentials because the decorating has begun; physically or mentally, it’s happening. And here’s what I’ve learned: boys don’t care. That’s right, boys don’t care what their rooms look like. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but trust me, it’s not that far off the mark. Last year, I remember scrolling through my newsfeeds admiring my friends’ daughters’ room pictures. Everything was color coordinated, and I mean EVERYTHING–even the Command hooks stringing up the fairy...

Keep Reading

We’re Learning to Be Just the Two of Us (And It’s Fun!)

In: Grown Children, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple cooking in kitchen

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have never spontaneously gone four hours away to anything, much less a concert.  When we got married, we both brought daughters into the marriage, and three years later, we had a son. We were a family of five. In our 23 years of marriage, it had never been just the two of us. There were always ballgames, concerts, school awards, etc that kept us busy and split between two places if not three. After the girls both left the house for college, we still had our son. While...

Keep Reading

Mothering a Little Boy Seems Like it Will Go On Forever—Until it Doesn’t

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother with two grown sons

I walked with a determined gait through the airport doors after I hugged my adult son goodbye. My tenacious walk was designed to communicate to him that I still had a purpose in life apart from being his mother. It was the same walk I had adopted when I left him at the preschool gate some 23 years earlier, at his university campus, and more recently, after his wedding.  The same stoic, and yet if I’m brutally honest, somewhat fake walk.  I reached airport security and slung my carry-on bag onto the escalator in one swift motion in case he...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, You Still Amaze Me

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

I don’t know how she did it. My mother excelled at motherhood. It was as if she attended a university renowned for its studies in being a mom, and she graduated at the top of her class.  Growing up, our family had homemade meals six days of the week (Friday was either pizza or sandwich night) and there was always a fresh vegetable. Nothing ever came out of a can or a box, including our drinks, which were iced tea from steeped tea bags and hand-squeezed lemonade with a few drops of blue food coloring because pink lemonade was so...

Keep Reading