So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

They used to line up to watch me leave.

Even if I was just running to the store for 10 minutes . . . five little faces would be pressed up against the glass.

“Don’t forget to beep and wave!” they’d yell, knocking each other over trying to claim their spots by the window.

We eventually even had to put little pieces of tape with their names on them right on the floor in front of the door so they would get into position with less arguing.

It made for a long goodbye to line up littles fairly each time we left the house.

And if, God forbid, we would forget to beep and wave . . . so many tears. They’d cry broken-hearted tears of abandonment . . . the drama with this group is real.

I remember circling back after I once forgot, so eager was I for 30 minutes of uninterrupted diaper buying time at Target. But I got a phone call about an inconsolable someone and drove home just to beep and wave and then be on my way.

I fear I was even annoyed by all that love . . . not knowing I should have bottled up every bit of it to live on now.

RELATED: There’s Just Something About That Last Baby

But the touched-out feeling of the little years is so real and I have all the grace for the me of those days. She needed a break for the love and couldn’t be expected to see all the beauty right in front of her all of the times. 

But today, I stood at that window alone.

My girl is now the one leaving.

And it’s been years since little toes lined up where I now stand, the small fingers that clung to lovies to comfort them as I left, now most often hold cell phones and the faces that used to press right up to watch me leave now glance up politely when I say I’m going away.

RELATED: God’s Been Preparing You To Let Them Go

Today I pressed my face into the glass, trying to see her for all the last seconds I could. This piece of my heart going back out where she belongs in the world.

I wished for a talisman of some sort to hold onto to comfort me as she pulled away.

Then the car slowed and I heard it . . . a beep, and then a wave.

And my heart could burst really with the full circleness of it all.

It hit me that my own mom, too, stands just like this each time we leave.

I stopped to soak in all the beauty of the moment because it’s just easier to do now that I’m not changing diapers and wiping noses.

And because the moments are fewer and therefore more precious . . . I don’t want to miss a single one.

RELATED: Growing Up, You First Then Me

That beep and wave reminded me goodbyes are rarely easy but we leave with love and even better love always comes home.

We are so lucky to have this love, aren’t we? To have our hearts break a little when they go.

But for the record, the coming home will always be my favorite.

Originally published on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt

 

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Your Best Is Enough

In: Motherhood
Mom and young boy with backpack

I am my own worst enemy—I forget to let myself off, give myself time, free myself of guilt.  I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am not a superhero.  For the most part, I absolutely love, treasure, and soak up every happy, special, tough, gritty moment of motherhood. I am forever grateful for this journey. But I also feel extremely guilty any time the load builds a little too high. I forget that I too am allowed emotions, time off, and forgiveness.  As a rule, I don’t snap. I am a patient parent. I discuss and I cuddle and I reason...

Keep Reading

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

To the Emotional Mom of a High School Senior, Enjoy It

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Teen girl in graduation gown, color photo

Dear moms of high school seniors, I see your posts on social media, and I sense your excitement, mixed with anxiety and a bit of sadness (if we are being completely honest). I notice your photos of all the lasts, and I celebrate your child’s accomplishments with you. I see you, and I know you because I have been you, twice now.  I feel the almost palpable sinking feeling that hits in the pit of your stomach when you think about them moving on to the next stage. How is it possible they have grown from such a tiny, helpless...

Keep Reading

I’ll Never Be Ready for My Son To Let Go of Me

In: Motherhood, Tween
Tween boy and mom

The arts-and-crafts tote overflowed with cylinders of petrified Play-Doh, crispy-bristled paintbrushes, and Elmer’s glue bottles with clogged applicator tips. Underneath it sat a stack of spiral notebooks with homework from previous years: simple fractions, facts about fossils and chlorophyll, vocabulary words neatly written on blue lines. Star Wars characters were sporadically doodled in the margins.  None of its contents had been touched in years. Yet, the very second I tipped it upside down into the garbage dumpster—unwittingly blasting a flume of silver glitter into the garage ceiling—I felt deep, aching sadness and enormous regret.  When did fuzzy pipe-cleaners become nostalgia-worthy?...

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

There Are a Million Reasons Being a Mom Is Hard

In: Motherhood
Overwhelmed mom with child at home

Being a mom is hard.   The endless messes to clean up. The sleepless nights and sticky fingers touching everywhere. The meal prep, the nap schedule, the tantrums, the kitchen sink overflowing with dishes . . . oh, the dishes.   And then as they get older, there’s managing all the activities and the carpooling. The homework you can’t figure out. (Are you smarter than a 5th grader? The answer is no, no I’m not.)   The endless to-do list and the pressure to always put someone else’s needs before your own.  No doubt, it’s hard being a mom. But that is the obvious stuff....

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections