So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Snow day . . . before Christmas . . . in the month of Decemberfor the working mom or any mom, it might as well be a natural disaster. 

I looked around my house at the projects planned for the day slowly drifting away as the reality of four kids at home set in. Boxes of Christmas decorations yet to be hung, laundry to be folded, groceries to be bought, meals to be planned, gifts to buy, cards to address, and emails piling upeach thought triggered a new wave of anxiety. And of course let’s not forget, kids to be fed every hour . . . on . . . the . . . hour.

I took a deep breath and tried to tackle that next right thing only to be interrupted.

“Can we go sledding?!” begged my 6-year-old, Carolina. 

“Absolutely in a little while. How about a Christmas movie?” 

“Yay! Will you watch it with us?”

“Yes, in just a bit.” But I knew they would forget, and I might have a chance at getting something done, which I did. But it didn’t take long until they were back.

“Can we pleeease go sledding?” whined my 8-year-old, Sofia. 

“Yep, in just a little while. How about writing a letter to Santa?”

I knew my big kids would help the little ones, and I just might be able to clean out the fridge and answer a few emails, part of my usual Monday routine. Lucky for me, one thing led to another. They played, they drew, they fought, and played a little more as the day flew by. At one point, I glanced at the clock, and it was 4:30 p.m. The sun was setting as dusk fell gently casting blue-gray shadows on the newly fallen snow.

“Mama, can we go sledding NOW?”

It was now or never. 

“Yes, of course! Get dressed and I will watch you from the window.” 

“But mama, we want to go sledding with you.” Both little girls looked at me with their pleading eyes, big brown eyes, that I gave them. 

I knew I had to go. 

I paused. I looked around boxes still unpacked, dishes to be done, dinner not yet cooked, and newly fallen snow day mess abounding, but this time instead of my mental checklist on repeat, I heard something different. What I heard was the voice, that small voice that gently whispered, “How much longer will they want to do this with you?”

My mind raced to my almost 13-year-old, my first baby, who earlier that week disclosed to me she didn’t believe anymore and in fact, hadn’t for two years. I thought about her running downstairs early Christmas morning before any of her siblings were born, looking to see if the carrots and cookies she left out had been eaten. My heart ached deeply, palpably, for just a moment, but I quickly smiled and said, “Guess what you’re doing tonight?” and the newest elf was born. 

Because it’s just that quick. And I’ve noticed the little whiles turn into tomorrows, and the tomorrows into weeks, and weeks into years, and it all happens in a blink. Everyone tells you this, but one day you begin to feel it, and it’s a feeling that stays for a long while.

Before you know it, they are taller than you, stronger than you, busier than you, and have more important things to do than you. 

I began to realize this was not an I have to it was an I get to. Because there are thousands of women who pray they will get to and never do. Because even in December, families can’t buy, moms lose babies, single moms work late, chemo treatments continue, kids split holidays, and the ocean of grief only gets deeper. 

So at that moment, I dropped everything, put on my boots, my gloves and hat, and we went. Because isn’t that what this season is about? Dropping everything to go and witness the extraordinary in the ordinary?

Isn’t that what they did? 

As we made our way through the darkening shadows in the snow, climbing our backyard hill, I breathed in the cold, crisp air watching as they threw themselves down to create their own personal angels. Though their piercing laughter echoed loud through the bare trees lit by the rising moon, it was the most peaceful place on earth, and a moment for this mama to be still and take in the wonder and glory of my everyday miracle.

It was my silent night.

As I took a mental snapshot to be tucked away in corner of my Christmas memories, I knew they would remember this day, too. Because I can’t recall the gifts or the wrapping or the carefully placed ornaments of my childhood, but I will always remember the love and the laughter and the messthe joyous, colorful, comforting post-Christmas mess that didn’t bother me one bit. 

So drop everything and go.

Every chance you get while you have the chance. 

Because the most extraordinary happened in the ordinary and still does today. 

One thing I know, it will be your best yes yet. 

Niro Feliciano

Niro Feliciano, LCSW is a wife, mom of 4, and psychotherapist. She speaks and writes about women, relationships, parenting, faith and psychology and has a private practice in Wilton, CT. She is also the host of the new podcast All Things Life with Niro Feliciano. Follow her on Instagram, FB and on her blog the Incidental Therapist at nirofeliciano.com.  

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

For the Love of the Game and a Little Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Several baseball players with coach, color photo

When your babies are babies, you think the days are never going to end. You’re so filled up with love for them, but oh momma, you are sooo exhausted. One day runs into the other, runs into the other, and so on. Those days are filled with feedings, diaper changes, sleepless nights, and milk-drunk smiles. You get all the firsts. The first smile. The first laugh. The first words. The first crawl. Before you know it, they’re walking. Walking turns into running. But hold your breath momma, these are the good old days. These long days and even longer nights...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime