Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

You’re not supposed to be here, you know. You’re just a baby, and babies don’t sit in the front seat. Everyone knows that.

But, here you are.

You’re supposed to be sitting in the back seat, a bundle of soft blankets, dimpled arms, and chunky thighs, alternately cooing and grunting and screaming your head off. And I’m supposed to be dividing my attention between the road and the rearview mirror that reflects your round face back to me, trying to decipher the sounds you’re making. Snack? Toy? Diaper?

You’re not supposed to be changing the radio station. That’s my job. You’re definitely not supposed to sing along to this music, if you can even call it that. I appreciate that you make a point to skip the bad words. You see, all you’re supposed to do is clap and squeal when decide whether we feel like listening to either Elmo or Veggie Tales on our morning ride. But, here you are, jabbing those nail-bitten fingers at the presets in a rapid-fire succession that’s at once both incredibly annoying and highly impressive. It’s a skill that you almost certainly inherited or learned from me, along with the nail-biting. But, instead of making me proud, it makes me worry about what a detriment the station-seeking habit will be once you are the one behind the wheel. And those nails. You’re not supposed to bite them. It’s a habit you’ll never break. Trust me on this one.

You’re not supposed to be wearing my jacket. Because my jacket is not supposed to fit you so perfectly. When did you even get it out of the closet? I was supposed to do that for you. You’re supposed to be giving me your toughest fight, bending and squirming, as I try and shimmy your noodle arms into the sleeves of an overly stuffed jacket that’s too heavy for this slightly chilled day. I’m supposed to be grappling with your zipper, and when I finally get the darn thing all the way to the top, I’m supposed to give your sweet button nose a little boop. That’s when we’re supposed to laugh.

You’re not supposed to be trying your hardest to look away from me, with your jaw, the same as my jaw from 20 years ago, clamped shut, so determined not to let a bit of information leak out. You’re supposed to be demanding my attention with a string of continuous Mama, Mama,Mamas until I finally say, too sharply, “What?” You’re supposed to ignore my impatience and tell me a neverending story about the caterpillar you saw on the playground. You’re supposed to be amazed by all the smallest happenings of our day. You’re not supposed to be flippant and prematurely world-weary.

You’re not supposed to be jumping out of this passenger seat and striding into a building full of teenagers all by yourself. You’re supposed to be holding out your arms to me as I unclick you from the backseat. You’re supposed to take my hand, and I’m supposed to carry your lunchbox, and we’re supposed to walk into our quaint preschool together. You’re supposed to get a little teary, and even if I feel like I might, too, I’m supposed to steady my quivering chin and give you a quick hug and tell you it will all be fine, and I’ll be back before you know it.

I’m not supposed to pull up, let you out, and just drive away. You’re not supposed to be able to steady your chin, pull on that heavy-laden backpack, and stride ahead without a single glance back.

But here we are.

And there you go.

Doing what you’re supposed to do.

Being where you’re supposed to be.

So now what am I supposed to do?

You may also like:

Let Me Love You a Little More, Before You’re Not Little Anymore – 5 Ways to Cherish Your Child Right Now

My Kids Are Growing Up, But I’m Still a New Mom

Dear Teenagers, Be Patient While I Let Go

To My Last Baby, Please Don’t Grow Up Too Fast

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Shanna Walker

Shanna Walker finds humor in all things, but is also known to ugly cry at her kids’ school plays. She is a lover of wine, words, family, and friends. Not necessarily in that order, but definitely when they’re all together. A veteran of the Finance industry, Shanna now serves as the CEO of her chaotic household. In her spare time, she does volunteer work she doesn’t recall signing up for and writes about the heart and humor that come with living an ordinary life. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @chicwhitesheep or browse her blog at chicwhitesheep.com.

Moms Are the Real Christmas MVPs

In: Motherhood
Mom and little girl looking at Christmas tree

Browsing through shelves of holiday books in the children’s section of the library, I am reminded of the CD my mom checked out from the library every holiday season. It was the Alvin and The Chipmunks version of all the classic Christmas songs. We would listen to that CD in the car all season long. Alvin and his buddies, Theodore and Simon, would belt out the Christmas classics we all know and love, but in their squeaky little chipmunk voices. It became a favorite tradition for my sister and me. Since this isn’t the ’90s and cars nowadays don’t have...

Keep Reading

What I Know For Sure About Having a Tween

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Tween close up of braces on teeth

They all say it’s coming. I have an inkling it might be true. Yet I’m holding on–I’m believing the same things that worked when you were a little girl, will work during the tween years too.  Some of my methods might need tweaking, but the principles are the same. When you’re upset, you’ll still want to be held. It just might take you a little longer to realize it. When your feelings are hurt, you’ll still want to be heard. I might not have as many answers, but I can still offer my listening ears. RELATED: The Secret to Parenting...

Keep Reading

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

The Magic of Having Kids Who Still Believe in Santa Is Worth the Christmas Chaos

In: Motherhood
Kids looking at Elf on the Shelf toy

Our elves showed up sometime in the night between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, just as they have every year for the last seven.  All three of our kids had been excited for their arrival, but we noticed our oldest was especially eager this year.  “Our elves come this month!” he announced on November 1, eyes twinkling with anticipation. He counted down nearly every night after, and once they finally showed up we found him in the corner talking to them several times throughout the day.  “How was the trip from the North Pole?” “Man, I’ve sure missed you guys.” “What...

Keep Reading

It’s Exhausting Being a Teacher and a Mom in the Month of December

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom and two kids smiling by Christmas tree

I absolutely love Christmas. In fact, I start listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. I’m always itching to put decorations up as soon as my other family members are willing. I love the magic of the season, the giving and the meaning behind all of it. By the time November begins, I’m ready to take on the holidays in full force as both a teacher and a mom. If I’m being honest though, Christmas as a teacher mama is both magical and downright exhausting. There are parties for both my own children and my students. There are gifts to...

Keep Reading

Being a Working Mom When Kids Get Sick Is Complicated

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom holding baby on couch

I didn’t know what my ringtone sounded like until I went back to work after maternity leave. “You know it’s always on silent,” I would say every time I missed a call from my husband. “What’s the point of having a phone if you never answer your calls?” “Who calls these days? Text me like a normal person!” It was a circular conversation, lighthearted, and not intended to bring about change. He will always prefer to call, and I will always prefer to keep my ringer off. But when I got my first early pickup text from my daycare provider...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

What Single Moms Really Need

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mom holding toddler on hip outside on dirt road

No, you’re not a single mom for a weekend. I’ve heard it said at social gatherings, in passing at church, and on social media. Perhaps the words are being uttered in a state of awe as if comparing themselves to valiant warrior princesses, knights in shining armor, heroes.  Usually though, it’s an under-the-breath complaint about being left by their otherwise attentive and loving spouse for the week or weekend. “I’m a single mom this weekend; my husband is on a golfing trip with his brothers.” “My husband is away for work, so I feel like a single mom this week.” ...

Keep Reading

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading