So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

Once, I held your newborn body in my arms and looked at those outfits I’d received at my baby shower for you and wondered how those cute little jeans or teeny, tiny polos would ever fit you. There were only a handful of things that didn’t completely swallow your little body whole.

About a year later, Grandma bought you some overalls that were above your size. If I had tried to dress your baby-bordering-on-toddler body into that adorable preschool outfit, you would have been swimming in the excess fabric.

Around the time your toddler body grew to fit the overalls, someone from church gave us a pair of corduroy pants for a big kid. Her family was moving out of the country, and she said, “Here, you keep these. You have a boy.” And, for some reason, I did, which seems ridiculous in retrospect because I stored those pants across states for a move and then from that move to another before you grew into them. Perhaps, it was because at the time, we were a student family and a nice pair of pants seemed too good a deal to let go.

Recently, I had you and your brother in the family room trying on pairs of pants as I sorted them into piles that fit you, or him, or neither of you. You both fidgeted and got distracted and were bored. You moaned as I tossed another pair of pants at you. Neither of us was having the time of our lives, but even still, I found myself marveling. I sorted those corduroy pants into a pile for your brother to wear in a year or so. Those enormous pants–belonging to what felt like a giant when I received them seven years ago–no longer fit your tall, long-limbed body. They squeezed around your middle and your ankles showed.

RELATED: Mothering Boys is a Work of the Heart

Today, I took you back to school after an appointment, and I left you a little too much in my wake. It may have been that I had a million things I knew I needed to do and you weren’t overly excited to go to school, but I slowed down once I registered you were actually behind me rather than beside me. I thought of those tall, lanky teenage boys I saw awhile back at the mall’s arcade. I remembered how they towered above me and how it struck me then that someday I was going to be surrounded by four towering boys-who-are-not-quite-men. I realized as I slowed my steps someday your long, lanky limbs are going to outpace me, you will have a to-do list a mile long, and my steps are going to be the hesitant, slow ones.

You’ve sprouted, little boy.

You’ve sprouted from that newborn babe into an adorable toddler, and now into a veritable pre-teen. As your younger brothers sprout up behind you, those baby polos and toddler overalls have gone the way of all well-used clothes and bit by bit, you lead the way into manhood. There will be more outfits to discard as inches of ankles show on your leg, as they creep, creep, creep out of acceptability.

RELATED: He’s a Boy For Just a Little While Longer

You’ll outgrow many more clothes. You’ll outgrow phases like others you’ve left behind–toddler tantrums, so blessedly long gone and baby signing, sadly said farewell to. You’ll outgrow your elementary school, and you’ll probably outgrow various friends over time. And while there’s an element of sadness to many of the goodbyes, there is a lot of excitement, too.

But there are some things I hope you’ll never say goodbye to.

I hope you’ll always keep your honesty and concern for those in trouble.

I hope you’ll always be willing to help when you are needed.

I hope you’ll always keep that wry sense of humor about life.

I hope you’ll keep your faith in a God who loves you.

And I hope you’ll always have a place in your heart for your mama.

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 now!

Order Now

Keegan Taylor

Keegan is an avid reader and an aspiring novelist who resides near Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and four boys. She blogs about reading and writing at Bibliophile Family on Facebook and Instagram, hides in the closet with a book and a cup of ridiculously rich hot cocoa, and makes a lot of library runs to pick up books on reserve.

Dear New Mom, God Is Only a Whisper Away

In: Baby, Faith, Motherhood
New mother holding baby on couch, eyes closed

While we were waiting to adopt, I would wake up in the middle of the night panicky. My mind would wander to the thought of suddenly having a baby. With groggy eyes and a cobwebbed mind, I would ask myself, “Could I get up right now to go soothe a crying baby?” And then the insecurities would flood me as I thought through the difficulty of dragging myself out of bed to give milk to a fussy newborn. I didn’t know if I could.  With each application sent to agencies and social workers, the possibility of adopting a baby became more...

Keep Reading

Look beyond the Labels for What You Don’t See

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three kids sitting on parents' laps smiling

I’ve always said that labeling someone with high- or low-functioning autism, or any disability for that matter, isn’t ever truly accurate. You may see an extremely smart girl who seems “normal” but you don’t see everything. You don’t see how the noises hurt her ears. You don’t see how the bright lights hurt her eyes. You don’t see how hard she struggles to fit in. You don’t see how she struggles to understand the social cues. You don’t see how seriously she takes what you say even if you’re joking. You don’t see the struggles when she’s having an overwhelming...

Keep Reading

And We Rocked

In: Motherhood
Black and white photo of a baby sleeping

My belly had grown and stretched to make room for you. I simply couldn’t wait to see your little face. I sat in your nursery, which was nearly complete, and whispered all the thoughts, fears, and feelings that filled my mind. You kicked in response as if to remind me we were in this together. And we rocked. Everyone told me that babies sleep a lot. But not you. It was as if you didn’t want to miss one moment of this big, beautiful life. I was to my bones tired. You refused to sleep. We continued this merry-go-round where...

Keep Reading

Did I Make Caring for You My Idol?

In: Motherhood
Little boy sitting in lawn chair, color photo

When my disabled son, Lucas, was an adorable little boy, I thought (and declared loudly!) that as long as I was alive and well, I would care for him. I was his mother and no one could ever provide for him as I would. And I completely believed this up until about five years ago. It started with puberty as Lucas blossomed into manhood, shedding his adorableness, and my mental and physical health deteriorated as he grew larger and stronger and became aggressive at times. I whispered to my husband, late at night with tears streaming down my face after...

Keep Reading

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

The Hardest Teens Sometimes Make the Best Adults

In: Motherhood, Teen
Collage of mom with teens, color photo

Hi, friends. Former middle school and high school teacher here, checking in. Can I let you in on a little something I learned as a secondary teacher? Here it is . . . sometimes the kids who really struggle as teens turn out to be the most amazing adults. Yep. Really. I’ve seen it so many times I felt compelled to share. One student I knew was constantly in trouble and getting me in trouble because I always stuck up for him. (And I don’t regret it.) He played jokes on teachers, gave substitutes a run for their money, left...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, You Gave Me Purpose

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Dear daughter, Before God knit you in my womb, I was wandering around aimlessly, searching for a purpose. I had changed my mind several times about what I wanted to do with my life. I felt so much pressure to figure out what I truly wanted. I rushed into career ideas, only to realize I wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of them. I started grad school, only to quit in three weeks. I was crushed and defeated. I begged God to show me His plan, to give me a purpose. I begged Him to give me something I...

Keep Reading

When Mom Gets a Migraine Life Must Still Go On

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother has a headache, sitting on the couch with kids running around in blur

I can’t tell the story of paramedics from the angle from which they see things, but I can tell it from the angle of the person looking up at them—the one lying in the medically-equipped vehicle with lights flashing and siren audible. There are some lessons in life we learn by blindside—we are thrust into them. That was me that May day in the ambulance.  I had known about migraines; I had decades of first-hand experience with them. I knew vision could be temporarily taken. I have operated countless days with an invisible hammer continuously beating one side of my...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See You Try and Fail

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter sitting on floor knitting together

Let your kids see you try and fail at something. That’s what I did today!  My daughter wanted to take a knitting class together. I said sure, naively thinking the skill would come pretty naturally. I’m usually good at things like this.  Guess what? It didn’t. Although she picked it up easily and was basically a knitting pro within five minutes, the teacher kept correcting me, saying, “No, UNDER! You need to go UNDER, not OVER.” She was kind enough, but it just wasn’t clicking. I started to get frustrated with myself. I normally take things like this in stride...

Keep Reading