Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

The best days were when you were a newborn. I just held you and snuggled you and breathed you in. You slept and you cuddled, and you nestled in my arms, and all we needed was each other.

The best days were when you were a baby, and I could watch you discover the world—emotions, fingers, colors, toys, feet, people, sounds, smells, characters, textures. Everything was a wonder to you, and you were every bit of amazing wonder to me.

Then the best days when you were a toddler. Sure, it was hard—you developed and expressed strong opinions, but the way you toddled around and interacted and connected melted my heart every minute. And you napped, like an angel! In your crib or the bed or the couch or snuggled up on me, and you were all I ever wanted.

RELATED: The Nights Are So Long

The best days were really when you were learning to talk. You still say some words not quite right, and I refuse to correct you because you sound just so darn cute, and I know you’ll learn them in due time.

Maybe the best days were when you were in pre-school. So many new milestones, new puzzles, new songs, new ways of playing with friends. So much that you learned, and so much more to learn after that.

The best days actually seem to be while you’re in kindergarten. 

Such a big kid now, even riding the bus, feeling empowered to buy hot lunch, being silly, and warming teachers’ and friends’ hearts with your kind smile. I tell you every day that I love you more than the whole universe . . . and then we talk about how much love that really is. It’s a lot. A lot lot lot.

But the upper grades really are the best days. You’re trying new things—sports, clubs, adventures. You tell me different stories now—mostly only when I ask. You’re making choices, and I’m letting you . . . with guidance as I’m trying to be the best I can at raising good humans. You’re starting to care what your hair looks like, or if your pants look cool. And I love you more than the universe.

I’m guessing junior high brings the best days. I know people say middle school and junior high is the beginning of letting go. That makes me cry, so I’m thinking of it instead as watching you flourish. Will you end up dating someone? Will you struggle in school? Will you be happy with who you are? Will you be happy in general? Will you try your best? I hope so. And I can’t wait to find out. I’ll have your back, and I’ll always and forever be open for hugs and holding your hand, even if you don’t want anyone to see or know.

RELATED: Dear Mama, Your Heart Will Always Be My Home

Wait—high school. Wow. It’s coming fast. I bet those are the best days.

You have so much to learn and will see more and more that you have so much potential, so much to offer the world with your kind heart, sense of humor, and utter determination.

I wonder if you’ll go to college? Those seem like they’ll be really hard days for me—you may recall that I cried about you possibly leaving home when you were actually only a few weeks old because I knew those days would come way faster than my heart could handle. But I want you to follow your dreams and helping you do so will make those be the best days.

And then the best days of adulthood—watching you start a career, a family, have a home . . . or whatever it is you choose. I hope it’s down the street from me. Or at least in the same town. Or no more than a text message or a FaceTime call away.

I’m already so proud of you that I can’t even imagine what overwhelming pride I’ll feel having watched you grow. Who will you become? Just stay true to you, and the world will be a better place because of it.

I’d like to think my parents are enjoying the best days now, watching my sister and me raise our children, keep their traditions, and make new ones of our own. I love how involved they are in my life and my kids’ lives, and I think that helps make the best days even better.

Maybe the best days will be when I’m old. Older than today. And my boys will still squeeze my hand three times to signal “I love you.”

Maybe they will have taught their kids that tradition, too, and I can squeeze my own grandkids with love. I’ll tell them I love them more than the universe, and maybe they’ll say it back to me.

RELATED: The Kids May Be Grown, But Mom Is Still Their Home

Right now, today is the best day. I woke up in a home with my three boys, snuggled tight with my littlest love, sent all three off to school with a hug and an “I love you.”

The best days have passed, and are still yet to come.

Every day is the best day if you let it be. Because as our lives unfold, we collect moments and turn them into memories. My boys, you are my favorite memories, and my favorite dreams for tomorrow. Thank you for all the best days we’ve had, and all the best days that are still to come, tomorrow, and the next day, and so on. I love you more than the universe, and I always will.

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

Karen Lesh

Self-proclaimed girly-girl Mom of Boys!  I create content about my parenting adventures and life as the only female in the household at and facebook and instagram. This parenting adventure is hard and hilarious, and I love to connect with others to share in the journey. Look for my work on Sammiches and Psych Meds, Scary Mommy, Today Parents, Her View from Home, and more, Off to wipe some pee of the seat now . . .

Please Stop Comparing Kids

In: Motherhood
Mom and kids in sunlight

Let me begin with this important message: Please refrain from comparing children, especially when it pertains to their growth and development. If you happen to notice differences in a child’s height, weight, or appetite compared to another, that’s perfectly fine. Your observations are appreciated. However, I kindly request that you avoid openly discussing these comparisons as such conversations can inadvertently distress a parent who may already be grappling with concerns about their child’s growth trajectory. Trust me, I say this from personal experience. Recently, at a dinner gathering, a couple casually remarked that someone’s 1-year-old child appeared larger both in...

Keep Reading

This Will Not Last Forever

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman looking at sunset

“This will not last forever,” I wrote those words on the unfinished walls above my daughter’s changing table. For some reason, it got very tiring to change her diapers. Nearly three years later, the words are still there though the changing table no longer is under them. While my house is still unfinished so I occasionally see those words, that stage of changing diapers for her has moved on. She did grow up, and I got a break. Now I do it for her baby brother. I have been reminding myself of the seasons of life again. Everything comes and...

Keep Reading

You Made Me Love Christmas

In: Motherhood
Family in pajamas near Christmas tree, color photo

Hi kids, this is a thank you note of sorts . . . I’m about to tell you something strange. Something you may not “get” yet, but I hope you do eventually. I used to dread Christmas. I know, isn’t that weird? Most kids and a lot of adults have countdowns and decorations and music, but I had a countdown in my mind of when it would be over. To me, it wasn’t a happy time. From the age of about eight (right about where you all are now) Christmas, for me, became like a job of sorts. Long before...

Keep Reading

She is an Anonymom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother standing at sink holding a baby on her hip

She stands alone in the church kitchen, frantically scrubbing pots and pans while the grieving huddle around the fellowship hall, and she slips out the back door before anyone comes in. She is an anonymom. She gets out of her car and picks up the trash thrown into the ditch alongside the country road. She is an anonymom. She sits on the park bench, watching her children play. In the meantime, she continually scans the whole playground, keeping track of everyone’s littles, because that is what moms do. She is an anonymom. RELATED: Can We Restore “the Village” Our Parents...

Keep Reading

I Come Alive at Christmas

In: Motherhood
Kitchen decorated for Christmas

It’s time again. Time for the lights and the trees and candy canes and tiny porcelain village homes. It’s time to shake off all that this year has thrown at me and come alive again. My favorite time of year is here and it’s time to make some magic. My mom started the magic of Christmas for me when I was little, and I was infatuated with the joy that it brought to so many people. Loved ones come together and everything sparkles and people who don’t normally come to church are willing to join us in the pews. Everything...

Keep Reading

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

Connecting with My Teen Son Will Always Be Worth the Wait

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy standing near lamppost, color photo

So much of parenting teens is just waiting around, whether it’s in the car picking them up, reading in waiting rooms now that they are old enough to visit the dentist alone, and quite honestly, a lot of sitting around at home while they cocoon in their rooms or spend hours FaceTiming friends. Sure, you have your own life. You work, run a household, have your own friends, and plan solo adventures to show your teen that you’re not just waiting around for them all the time. That you are cool with them not needing you so much. But deep...

Keep Reading

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading